I see People in the Data Center, do you?

8 years ago I left Microsoft after 14 years and didn’t know what I would do next.  One of the people I connected with in 2007 OSI’s Founder and CEO Pat Kennedy.  He asked the question on how to save power in the data center running applications.  After two weeks of noodling on this I figured out how to solve the problem, but then there were all kinds of other problems on how to execute a change in the system to use less energy.

Attending OSIsoft’s User Conference, I met at the time Microsoft’s data center executive Mike Manos and we started a business relationship and friendship that jump started my work in data centers.  One of the next executives I connected with was Olivier Sanche who at the time worked at eBay and again we started a business relationship and friendship that lasted until he tragically passed away.

One of the common traits of Mike and Olivier is they are/were great with people.  They cared deeply for their team and what they could do to support their team.  Hanging around Mike and Olivier I was able to observe first hand the people issues in running data centers.

So many times people when they tour data centers, they focus on the technology in the data center.  I have learned to focus on the people in the data center.  Even when things become automated, there are people behind the automation, design decisions, and maintenance choices.

When you tour a data center, do you see the people or the technology?

You can learn so much more from focusing on the people and talking to them, then analyzing the electrical, mechanical, and IT systems.  And, people can be your friends.