People who want to be the best, find the best to be friends with

The data center industry is a relatively small community. Even though the overall data center market is growing there is a consolidation of power going on.  There are shifts to those who are the best at building out data center infrastructure.

Some stick to a group of people they have worked with for years like being loyal to your alma matter or home team.  They take comfort in the familiar.  This is where the term "old boys club" can be used to describe this behavior.

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA finals and Steve Kerr was the star along with MVP Stephen Curry.  Steve Kerr was seen on his plane flight back to Oakland with two  things that don't fit a SF bay area focus.

The Warriors coach, fresh off his team’s NBA title victory, was photographed on the plane ride from Cleveland home to Oakland wearing a Seattle Seahawks shirt and reading a copy of “Boys in the Boat,” the popular title about the University of Washington’s 1936 Olympic rowing championship.

If Steve Kerr was old school he would have a SF 49ers shirt or SF Giants and a book about UC Berkeley's crew team.


Digging a bit further it appears that Steve Kerr and Pete Carrol have become friends, coaches who want to have the best team.

Looking carefully, though, you can see commonalities — California sensibilities, positive energy, open-mindedness and a constant search to find new ways to motivate varied player personalities.
”I always loved Pete Carroll,” Kerr said recently. “Hated USC (Carroll’s former coaching stop) but loved Pete Carroll. And loved the way his teams played.
”They just won the Super Bowl. They play this fun, entertaining, energetic style. That’s exactly how I want my teams to play.”

Kerr had just been hired by the Warriors and was continuing his hyper-speed learning curve.

The ideas continue on how they shared ideas on how to be the best.

“We talked a lot about just kind of the atmosphere around a team and how you’re going to approach the daily routine,” Kerr said.

”To me, the X’s and O’s ... they’re an important part of coaching but a relatively small part. Eighty percent of it is just relationships and atmosphere, what your daily routine and culture is.

”Are players engaged, are they enjoying themselves, are they competing? All those principals he talked about, and we talked about different ideas of ways to make those things come to life. To me, that’s his gift.”

Practical result: Kerr saw how Carroll’s players reacted when the Seahawks played music throughout practice, so he installed speakers at the Warriors site, and there is now music playing through most Warriors sessions.

”It’s a staple for the Seahawks — it’s really uplifting and it’s fun,” said Kerr, who has piped in an array of rap and rock.

”Everybody’s bouncing around and energetic, but you’ve got to focus, too. So there’s different reasons to employ that. But that came from Pete.”

Google's Alabama DC has 198 posts with one post talking to Urs Hölzle and Joe Kava

Google yesterday announced its new Alabama DC and coverage is significant with 198 posts.

Google has been expanding capacity in LATAM, EU, and APAC for years since it has made a land purchase in the US.  When you look at the location of the Jackson County Alabama DC in the middle of the cluster of 5 existing facilities I would place bets that Google could build more at this one site than any other.  How big?  The Alabama site originally had 8 coal fired units.  The last one produced 460MW.  Times 8 that is almost 4GW of power transmission infrastructure and water to cool down the plant.

The official Google post is here.

What is not in the Google post are some quotes from Google's Urs Hoelzle and Joe Kava which the NYTimes covered.

Urs says...

“Data centers are attractive customers” to power suppliers, said Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president for technical infrastructure. In turn, he said, “bringing in alternative power was important to us.”

“In the next 12 months, we will look at plausible projects,” he said. While wind power appears to be the furthest along in producing energy cheaply, he noted that Google had already done a solar energy project in South Africa.

Joe says

“We are looking to do a similar type of approach as Finland” in Alabama, said Joe Kava, who leads data center construction at Google. Like many Google sites, he said, Alabama will be “a campus model with multiple buildings.”

Google appears to be on something of a construction binge, with data center expansions in the United States, Singapore, and Belgium just over the last few months. This may be partly because of demand, and partly to risk management on Google’s part. By having several construction projects underway, Mr. Kava said, the chances of a shortfall in overall capacity from a slowdown at one project were minimized.

The Alabama site could be the biggest Google data center location until they buy a bigger one.

Lego makes Long Term Investment into Sustainable Legos

Most if not all of you have grown up playing with Legos.  Those pieces of plastic that you diligently followed the directions or creatively made things.  I don't know about you, but many times when looked at large sculptures it is easy to think about all that plastic.

Lego has realized it needs to change the way it makes Legos to be something not built on fossil fuels.  Lego announced its new environmental effort.

The LEGO Group establishes LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre and expects to recruit more than 100 employees in a significant step up on the 2030 ambition of finding and implementing sustainable alternatives to current materials.

Today, the LEGO Group announces a significant investment of DKK 1 billion dedicated to research, development and implementation of new, sustainable, raw materials to manufacture LEGO® elements as well as packaging materials.

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO and President of the LEGO Group, says:
“This is a major step for the LEGO Group on our way towards achieving our 2030 ambition on sustainable materials. We have already taken important steps to reduce our carbon footprint and leave a positive impact on the planet by reducing the packaging size, by introducing FSC certified packaging and through our investment in an offshore wind farm. Now we are accelerating our focus on materials.”

VMware recently created a Lego DC.  One of these days maybe someone will build a Lego DC with Wind Farms and/or Solar panels.  Problem is the area of the power generation would dwarf the DC space. :-)

Summer Camp, Skiing and Cool Pics

Summer is here and it is standard practice for the kids to go to summer camps.  We live on a lake so swimming, stand up paddle boarding, jet skis, tubing they can do at home.  So my kids go to camps they can't do at home.  Below is my son in Pink.

And here he is in a picture with Ted Ligety

3.0 Stage of Life, working on some of the Best Stuff

In the book Becoming Steve Jobs is a point I remember well.

I wish I could have seen Steve Jobs 3.0. Seeing him from age fifty-five to seventy-five would have been fascinating. If you’re in good health at that age, 3.0 should be the best.
— Jim Collins. Schlender, Brent; Tetzeli, Rick (2015-03-24). Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

I quit Microsoft 9 years ago at 46.  Spending 26 years at Microsoft, Apple, and HP I was done.  Part of quitting Microsoft is I realized it was better to quit before I turned 50 to think about what I wanted to do next.  There is very little chance I would have made it at Microsoft for the last 9 years and make it to 55.

Now I am 55.  Well tomorrow I am.  My health which includes physical, mental, and social aspects of health are so much better than 9 years ago.  And, the ideas of what is a 3.0 version of life are coming together nicely.  Working at great companies like HP, Apple, and Microsoft were valuable, but I've realized there are so many other things I can do that are so much easier when not being constrained by corporate managers.  I can blog and write whatever I feel like.  I can research ideas.  Challenge the status quo without being reprimanded by my boss.  

Ironically the ideas I am working on have corporate managers as the users, but probably less than 10% see the true value of the service as it works for those who want to transform the way they run operations, but it requires a different way of looking at things. 10% of the users is still plenty big and we'll help them out compete the rest.

A lesson I learned taking a break when quitting Microsoft is to focus on your social health.  Who your friends are.  With great social health your mental health naturally improves.  Feeling better socially and mentally, then your physical health wants to catch up.  Looking at problems in different ways is the luxury of the 3.0 stage of life.  On the other hand I think there are plenty of people who think the 3.0 stage of life is about endless vacations and hobbies like playing golf.  Is that how you think you'll improve your social, mental, and physical health?


Intel's Video on Reusing Water in Fab Facilities

Intel has a nice video with 19,000 views after a month on water reuse in its wafer fab facilities.

Published on May 12, 2015
Meet Geetha Shankar, Environmental Health & Safety Engineer at Intel. Her job is to manage water treatment facilities that recycle and purify the water used during the manufacturing of silicon wafers within Intel Fabs.

City water is used to clean silicon wafer during the production process at Intel, that water is then filtered back to drinking water standards and re-used, or filtered to gray water standards and re-used throughout the community in a variety of forms. Geetha and her team insure that the water treatment facilities run correctly, thereby providing the necessary water for production while also providing usable water back to the community in which Intel is a part of.

7x24 Exchange Spring Conference Publishes its Attendance and Updates its Mission to include Sustainability

How many people attending a conference can be hard to find.  The staff at 7x24 Exchange make it easy to know as they share the current and past attendance numbers.  (Note: SC is spring conference and FC is fall conference)

This sharing fits with 7x24 Exchange updating its mission to include sustainability and social responsibility which is built on being open and transparent.

As you look at what data center conferences to attend look for whether they disclose past conference attendance to gauge whether the conference is appealing to its user base.

7x24 Exchange has been discussing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainability ideas for years.  And, now its part of their official mission statement.