INTERVIEW


Meet Mark, he tells us how he experiences working in a datacenter.

Mark de Heer: “The complexity of cooling machines makes the work incredibly fun. It is a mix of mechanical engineering, physics and controlling "

Profile

  • Name: Mark de Heer
  • Age: 45
  • Function: Field Engineer

Datacenters play an indispensable role in our digital society and economy. Without datacenters, no internet. But who actually keeps the datacenter, and therefore the internet, running?

Mark de Heer (45) works as a Field Engineer at STULZ. Within this position he is involved with measurement and control technology and maintenance repairs to climate systems.

This interview is done in collaboration with the Dutch Datacenter Association. Source (NL).

 

  • How do you describe a datacenter?

    A datacenter is actually a node where the internet comes together. In the datacenter, companies have their systems (servers) running with which we can participate in all kinds of digital services. This includes e-mailing, texting, but also, for example, calling, watching television or financial transactions. Without the datacenter, all these electronic (online) services could not exist. I find it very fascinating to see that the datacenter industry continues to grow. You can see at various customers that there is continuous growth and that new datacenters are opening with new customers and racks. More and more digital services are coming and the most important task of a datacenter is to run all those services 24/7. This is also called continuity.

  • How would you explain your working position to your grandmother?

    It is my job to ensure that the computers / servers which are running in the datacenter will not get overheated. This works as follows: when we request data via the internet, the computers start working to look up that data for us. In addition, a reasonable amount of heat is released and it is therefore important to cool the room on a continuous basis through the cooling units that my company supplies.

    A cooling machine is a bundle of various technologies together. A piece of mechanical engineering, physics and control engineering. Each cooling machine is unique due to the bundling of various techniques. This combination of techniques continues to fascinate me and this is what makes my job so interesting!

  • Which tasks and activities do you spend the most time on?

    Most of my work is in the maintenance and checks of the cooling machines in server rooms. Critical processes are running in these rooms that must not have an unexpected cooling failure. After all, failure of the cooling causes overheating and this can ultimately cause a complete failure of the equipment. Failure of this equipment can prevent companies from accessing their IT, the pin machine in the supermarket no longer works or even stops the traffic lights on the street. That is why it is very important to prevent unexpected failure of these machines.

  • What are the moments when your work really makes you happy?

    Last summer, it was a very hot period. The temperatures went up to almost 40 degrees Celsius! Many customers called due to outages of the cooling systems. Many were happy that we were able to respond quickly and many problems were ultimately solved. These are the moments that make my days very hectic, but where I can also enjoy working the most. I get a lot of satisfaction from being able to advise clients on how they can improve their installations. For example for the upcoming summer period.

  • What is the most important lesson you have learned in the work that you do?

    Every machine is different. Regarding malfunctions; always start at the beginning. Customer information is useful but can sometimes mislead you. Take your measurements into account first and then look further. The complexity of the machines also makes the work incredibly fun! Working in this industry requires a broad knowledge of various techniques, you really have to be open towards that.

This interview is done in collaboration with the Dutch Datacenter Association. Source (NL).

 

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