America's new Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, is familiar with the data center sector from his duties as secretary of technology in Virginia, a state with a large concentration of major data centers. President Barack Obama announced Saturday that Chopra will be the nation's new CTO.
Chopra is clearly aware of the industry's large appetite for power, which has been an issue in northern Virginia. "Data centers are the energy hogs of the 21st century," Chopra told Government Technology last year. "If we all believe we need to have renewable energy and energy independence in this country, those of us in the IT community must step up and acknowledge that we are net consumers in a significant way."
We reached out to a number of Virginia data center operators to get their take on Chopra's appointment. Tom Deaderick, a director at the OnePartner Data Center in southwest Virginia, said he was very impressed with Chopra's intellect, energy and accessibility.
"Aneesh was very involved with us," said Deaderick. "He's as adept with technology as any tech company leader I've met. He understood the importance of OnePartner's Tier III certification immediately, and spent a lot of time with us brainstorming and proposing ideas, especially in the area of centralizing health care records in the OnePartner ATAC data center. He's equally passionate about health care and technology, so he's a pretty powerful force."
Deaderick said Chopra was "famous in Virginia for reaching out for ideas. It's not a situation where government is pushing a big centralized plan, but one where they are really looking for the best ideas from the brightest people. As a Virginia businessperson, I can tell you that it has been a real pleasure to work with him, and I'm very excited to see him scale up the techniques he's established in Virginia. I think they'll be great for America."