Mondale Events & Oxford ICTF

ICTF in Oxford University with Mondale Events.

On 9th December, Maxi-Cool exhibited at the University of Oxford Innovation and Technology Exhibition ICTF (Information and Communication Technology Forum).  We were very keen to get out and discuss servers and rack cooling in Oxford as it was the first exhibition we have been at since February 2019.  Just as the Omicron variant reared its head and some low-level restrictions had come into play, Mondale Events decided to go ahead with the event, and everyone successfully implemented the required guidelines.  

Exhibitions & Events

Mondale Events organised the exhibition in conjunction with the Oxford University IT Services.  The show took place in the Oxford Exam Schools building.  The setting was impressive as the building itself is grand and majestic.  While we were setting up, I couldn’t help but think of all the people who had sat exams there and that the atmosphere was possibly not always as relaxed as it was on the 9th December. 

The purpose of the ICTF was to bring the IT function at Oxford University comprised of central IT services and college IT functions together with suppliers.  The demand for innovation and developments within Oxford University is constant and ongoing as the use of all IT functions in colleges and academic departments increases annually.  Oxford University has a total enrolment of approximately 25000 students and has around 14500 staff members.  Each of the 39 colleges has a managed and discrete IT function that supports the daily lives of the staff and students in each college within the college and supports the interface between the colleges and the academic departments.  

Makeshift Cooling Solutions

We were very interested in hearing stories about makeshift cooling solutions in some colleges and the comprehensive plans for the construction of server rooms in others.  We enjoyed some technically specific questions from people at the sharp ends of their fields.  As one of our neighbours remarked, it was evident that ‘everyone needs cooling’.  Our conversations reinforced what we already know to be true: cabinet and rack cooling is essential for supporting the connectivity interface.  Server rack cooling has become cooling for a range of IT functions rather than cooling for racks full of saved data. 

The other exhibitors in the exhibition were a range of IT suppliers.  Most companies were exhibiting IT consumables to support and improve students’ access to teaching and resources in the university.  There was also some new products and demonstrations of concept, notably in AI.  The stands were busy with visitors, and the room was lively with conversation.   Many of the exhibitors, including us, had exhibited there before and enjoyed reconnecting with old faces and meeting new ones.  After the homebound and video meeting dominance of the last couple of years, people were genuinely happy to be out and about and talking to people face to face.  

On reflection, the ICTF Mondale exhibition was a very successful event, and we enjoyed the day very much.  It was both intimate and comprehensive and provided the setting for some interesting dialogue.  ICTF confirmed that server cooling rack cooling is an essential part of all IT functions in all locations and that Maxi-Cool is flexible enough to meet the requirements and nuances of most settings.