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    Wednesday
    Aug272014

    Ending Summer with An Awesome Event, 1st time Skurfing

    It’s been a great summer here in Seattle/Redmond.  One kid is back in school and another goes back next week.

    What better way to end the summer season which is technically not over until Sept 21, but for kids end of summer is when they go back to school with something memorable.

    Wednesday
    Aug272014

    Mainframes, Mini's, Servers, and Mobiles Oh My, Journey through Computer Development

    Taking a journey through technology world can be scary to many, causing users to panic.  In the beginning users couldn’t get to mainframes or mini’s.  Millions of servers exposed many more users to the scary use of technology.  Mobiles is in the hands of billions.

    Dileep Bhandarkar gave a presentation at the Computer History Museum on Aug 21, 2014.  Dileep’s slide deck is here.

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    As a product developer you may think you don’t need to be scared.  Well there were wars going on fighting for survival.  Below Dileep covered the RISC vs. CISC wars.

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    And Intel won the battle with the RISC killer chip.

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    One of the more peaceful battles was the fight for energy efficiency.  The path of clock rate was consuming too many watts.

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    Dileep covered the Data Center as a computer where the battle was/is between Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.

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    One overall theme in Dileep’s talk is how volume was behind so many of the wins.  And Mobile has the highest volumes now.

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    Tuesday
    Aug262014

    The inefficient data centers are fading vs. Rapid Growth of the Efficient - Google, AWS, Facebook, Microsoft

    The NRDC fired off a blog post this morning that got a bunch of other media to discuss the waste in the data center industry.

    Our study shows that many small, mid-sized, corporate and multi-tenant data centers still waste much of the energy they use. One of the key issues is that many of the roughly 12 million U.S. servers operate most of the time doing little or no work but still drawing power – up to 30 percent of servers are “comatose” and no longer needed but still drawing significant amounts of power, many others are grossly underutilized. However, opportunities abound to reduce energy waste in the data center industry as a whole. The technology exists, but systemic measures are needed to remove the barriers limiting its broad adoption across the industry. 

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    Over the last 5 years the data center growth of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and many others has been growing a pace that blows away the rest.  The old dominants of financials has grown slowly or even declined with the exception of the analytics group that has built huge data farms.

    Even though the NRDC raises concerns about the waste, the reality is the Cloud is helping to put so many of these old servers out of business.  But, the top issue is IT asset management is too many times poorly executed, making it difficult to identify the servers that can be turned off.

    Gigaom Research analyst Dave Ohara said the report brings up valid points, but more factors need to be considered. CPU utilization is just one metric, Ohara said via email. “RAM and hard-disks also use up energy … and can be just as underutilized …  The problem is that IT asset management is mostly done as a bookkeeping exercise, not as part of a technical IT operations team who purchases, owns and operates the servers.”

    Too many times the people who operate the servers can’t find the history of who owns the assets and what is on them.

    Monday
    Aug252014

    China's Anti-Corruption Drive must have some kind of Effect on Data Centers

    WSJ has an article on the anti-corruption drive in China.  What is interesting is a data drive approach vs. testimony.

    "The procedures raise questions about denial of human rights," says Maya Wang, China researcher at Humans Rights Watch. In response, Chinese officials say Mr. Wang is encouraging his team to rely less on confessions and more on analysis of data.

     

    The effects that get the notice is on things like luxury goods and the economies.

    Lu Ting, a China economist at Bank of America Corp., estimates that the crackdown is shaving somewhere between 0.6 and 1.5 percentage points off China's gross domestic product growth this year, as sales plunge of luxury goods, high-end apartments and other baubles of the rich that could attract the attention of Mr. Wang's investigators. Government investment has also slowed because local officials fear that putting projects out to bid could open them to accusations of kickbacks.

    Over the long run, economists argue, tackling corruption produces economic gains because government funds are spent more productively. Jailing powerful officials in state-owned firms may also make executives wary of trying to block Mr. Xi's plans to introduce more competition in state-dominated fields. But all of that can take years.

    There are some good moves like recruiting staff from another province to investigate a different one.

    Mr. Wang has fielded a dozen investigatory groups and fanned them out around the country. Many are headed by a retired official of ministerial rank who hails from provinces outside the one being inspected.

    With all these efforts there must be some effect on data centers in China.  It’s just a bit hard to find where things are documented.

    Friday
    Aug222014

    What did I write yesterday that got a big bump in traffic?

    In the old days I used to look my blog metrics every day.  Now I look at them maybe once every 1 or 2 weeks.  This morning I checked out the metrics and saw this.

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    What the heck did I write yesterday?

    Oh that post on % of Google, Microsoft, and AWS employees recommending their company to friends.

    Google-90%, Microsoft-77%, AWS-66%, % employees of who recommend working for their Cloud

    Google, Microsoft, and AWS are in fight for the Cloud and recruiting top talent.  One way to judge how good their cloud is based on how good their employees are.  To get a peak into the employees you can use Glassdoor like Forbes did to discover whether employees would recommend working for the company.  For these top guys here are is one set of data.  90% of google, 77% of microsoft, and 66% of AWS employees would recommend to their friends to work there.

    FYI, I was inspired to write this post because a friend of mine who works at Google mentioned how a particular executive was focused on recruiting top talent and his insight on what he needs to do to recruit the best in the industry.   I then just so happened to find the Forbes article on the Best Cloud Computing companies to work for.