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    10 years of Microsoft Data Center Executives

    Microsoft’s latest VP of Data Centers (Global Foundation Services) now called the Cloud Infrastructure and Operations is Suresh Kumar.  There have been a lot of changes in the past 10 years of Microsoft’s data center group. The following is an accumulation of looking at Linkedin Profiles.

    Currently Suresh Kumar is VP of Cloud Infrastructure and Operations with Christian Belady General Manager of Data Centers.

    Dayne Sampson was VP of Global Foundation Services (GFS) from 2009 - 2014 with Christian Belady and Kevin Timmons as GMs of data centers.

    Debra Chrapty was VP of GFS (until 2009) with Arne Josefsberg who brought in Mike Manos from Disney Interactive in 2005 to run data centers and this was the beginning of Microsoft’s transition to building data centers.

    Before 2005 data centers also existed part of Microsoft IT and that was run by John Coster.

    I have talked to some of the above people, but the only one I worked with is Mike Manos.

    Mike and I overlapped by a year at Microsoft, and we didn't worked together when employees.  But, we did work together after I left the company and we had many interesting conversations.  The most memorable one was in Mar 2009 in his office when Mike said he was thinking of leaving Microsoft, and he wanted to know what I thought of leaving.  Mike had been at Microsoft for 4 years.  I had been at the company 14 years.  Mike explained the situation, and I was 100% supportive of Mike’s decision to leave Microsoft, and I knew with almost the same 100% certainty that Mike would eventually be a senior executive at the CIO/CTO level.  What I didn’t expect is how quickly Mike achieved CTO status.  Which reminds me of one of the points I shared with Mike is where would he be after 5 more years at Microsoft?  He would be a senior general manager with a slim chance of being a VP.  It may seem obvious that Mike would be VP of data centers/cloud vs. Dayne Sampson, but Dayne had internal support from other senior executives as Microsoft replaced Debra Chrapty.  One supporter of Mike was Satya Nadella, so it is possible if Mike was still at Microsoft he would be the VP of Cloud Infrastructure and Operations, but not a certainty.

    Since I had posted comparing Suresh to Google’s Joe Kava using LinkedIn.  I was curious what happens if you compare Suresh to Mike using LinkedIn.  Here is a picture with Mike and Joe at 7x24 Exchange. Don’t think I have ever seen Suresh at a data center event.  Will to be fair you hardly ever see an employee at a data center event. :-)


    What became clear in the LinkedIn data is that Mike has a higher peer review, and is probably one of the best VPs Microsoft could have had to run Cloud Infrastructure and Operations in the opinion of his LinkedIn connections.

    Both Mike and Suresh have 500+ connections, and I think Mike’s actual connections may be a bit bigger.  Why?  Because data like Mike’s #1 skill is cloud computing 241, #2 data centers 225, and #3 IT Operations 136.  Suresh’s #1 skill is e-commerce 28 and his Cloud Computing # is 11.   Whoa.  Mike Manos Cloud Computing skill # is 241 and Suresh’s 11.  A 22x difference.  Data Centers for Mike is 225 and Suresh is 0. 

    Mike did a short stint at Nokia and if Stephen Elop backed Mike Manos, then Mike could have come back to Microsoft through the Nokia acquisition.  We’ve all witnessed boomerang executives.

    Those executives who know how to operate data centers are rare.  Those who know how to run Cloud Infrastructure seem more plentiful.  But, I somehow don’t feel comfortable taking direction from a Cloud Executive who doesn’t understand the way data centers operate.

    Here are Mike’s top skills


    Suresh’s top skills




    Berkshire Hathaway's Green (Renewable) Energy efforts

    WSJ has a post on Berkshire Hathaway’s renewable energy efforts.

    In the neighboring Hawkeye State, the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman has sunk billions into wind-farm projects, part of a big gambit on renewable energy by a utility company he acquired in 2000 and has built into one of the country’s largest power suppliers.

    Through a majority-owned subsidiary, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Mr. Buffett plans to double the $15 billion already committed to renewable-energy projects through early this year, and he is on the hunt for more utility acquisitions.

    Charles T. Munger , Mr. Buffett’s longtime business partner and Berkshire’s vice chairman, last month predicted that the company would be “the biggest utilities business in the United States” in a few years.

    Seems like more and more green data center efforts are going to work with companies that are owned by Berkshire Hathaway.


    Best Feature of Apple Pay, getting notifications within seconds of credit cards registered when swiped

    There is all kinds of news on Apple Pay. Apple can do a simple logo that gets your attention.


    Almost all the attention is using the iPhone 6 to pay.  I haven’t tried it yet, but the best feature that makes it worthwhile to register your credit cards with Apple Pay is I get a notification of credit card swipes within seconds to my iPhone 6 for my credit cards that Apple Pay works with.

    Update: others have not had this feature work.  I think why it works on my iPhone is I have the AMEX app.

    Think about how cool this is. Any time your credit card company authorizes a transaction you get a notification of the merchant and amount on your phone.  Not just for those who have NFC for using Apple Pay.



    DCIM Vendor Power Assure closes shop

    DatacenterKnowledge post that DCIM vendor Power Assure has closed due to lack of funding.

    Power Assure, a Santa Clara, California-based data center infrastructure management startup, has been dissolved, Clemens Pfeiffer, the company’s now former CTO, said.

    The company failed to raise enough money to continue operating, he said, adding that he did not have any further details about what had led to the dissolution.

    Below is the funding that Power Assure had.

    It followed a $2.5 million Series A round in 2009 with an $11.25 million round the following year and a $14.5 million Series B in 2011. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the company a $5 million grant as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, also known as President Barack Obama’s “stimulus package.”

    Investors in Power Assure included ABB Technology Ventures, Dominion Energy Technologies, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Good Energies and Point Judith Capital. The company had struck partnerships with numerous vendors, including VMware, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Intel, ABB, Raritan and In-Q-Tel.


    Comparing Microsoft's VP of Cloud Infrastructure to Google's VP of Data Centers via LinkedIn Profiles

    Microsoft has put a new VP in charge of its Cloud Infrastructure group retiring the role of VP of Global Foundation Services.  GFS’s logo looked like this.


    Global Foundation Services (GFS) is the engine that powers Microsoft's cloud services. Learn more.

    When I Google Search “Microsoft Global Foundation Services” what shows is Microsoft Cloud Platform with little trace of Global Foundation Services and the words Global Foundation Services (GFS) are gone.


    So the changes have started in Microsoft’s data center group.  What changes are there in the future?

    One way to look at what the future will be like is to compare the new Microsoft VP's public profile vs. a competitor.  I could pick Amazon as competitor, but Google is bigger in terms of a data center presence.  So let’s look at Microsoft’s Suresh Kumar, VP of Cloud Infrastructure and Operations vs. Google’s Joe Kava, VP of Data Centers.  The below is from their LinkedIn profiles as of Oct 21, 8:30p.  I am referencing the date and time of this post as things may change as profile get modified.  2 days ago Sumar’s picture was this.

    sureshSuresh Kumar, via LinkedIn







    Now on LinkedIn Suresh’s photo is below.


    Both Suresh and Joe have 500+ connections.

    On Suresh’s profile his top skill at 27 in e-commerce.  Joe’s top skill at 117 is Strategy.

    Joe has 66 for Data Centers.  Suresh has 0.

    Here is Suresh’s top 10 skills.


    Here is Joe’s top 10 skills.


    The one area where Suresh and Joe are close is 11 and 14 for Cloud Computing.  



    When you look at the above numbers who would you choose to build your Cloud/Data Center Infrastructure?  This has been an interesting way to look at two different executives using LinkedIn profiles.  With fresh eyes I went and looked at my skills listed on my LinkedIn profile.  You may want to as well and think about how your skills are listed.

    Oh the other area Suresh and Joe are equal is it looks like both of them now have photos that their corporate PR groups say is OK to have on a public facing site.


    Joe Kava, via LinkedIn