A Lesson from Taylor Swift resonates with my kids as I say I do the same thing

Connecting with your kids is a challenge.  My daughter is 14 and my son is 12.  This morning driving the kids to their bus stops my daughter was frustrated Taylor Swift's song "New Romance" is not part of the Apple Music subscription.  Sticking to Taylor Swift as a subject, we commented on how smart Taylor Swift is using humor in its Apple ad.

What my kids also understand is how smart Taylor Swift was in her famous letter to Apple pointing out the three month free trial would be a financial burden on many artists.

I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.

The letter was polite and to the point. Swift felt it unfair for Apple to use artists, especially up-and-coming ones, to grow its new service without compensating them for it. The counterargument, meanwhile, holds that the free trial could bring lots of free publicity to those same lesser-heard artists. The flaw there, however, is that Apple was asking those artists to make a leap of faith in the hopes of more followers and money in the future — but many small artists live essentially paycheck to paycheck, and they can’t stomach a quarter of reduced payouts.
— http://time.com/3940500/apple-music-taylor-swift-release/

Apple then made a smart move and made a change, and talked to Taylor Swift.  Taylor Swift is now a part of Apple Music and as my kids see Taylor Swift as one of the leaders in Apple's advertising.

Which then brought up an interesting point. Taylor Swift did a good thing. She was willing to stand up for something and possibly make an enemy.

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
— – Winston Churchill

Which then reminded me of how many times I've written a blog post to stand up for something and speak my mind.  And, some of my best friends are now people at these companies who choose to reach out and have a dialog.  After many more discussions we are working together on changing the way things are.  Just like Taylor Swift.  I won't point out those specific companies as that would probably get their PR groups stirred up and I want to keep my friends at those companies. 

The story of doing the right thing resonated with my kids.  Which was a nice ending.  Then my daughter said why don't I focus on this blog more and make money that way.  I then told them how hard it is to make money running a blog.  But they were still interested in how it works.  I told them let's talk more and we can go back and add advertising on the site and they can keep the money from the blog if they help work on it. They are both in for giving it a try.

If I could have a conversation like this once a week it would be great.  Driving the kids to the bus is something I do whenever possible.




Press Release for Lee Kirby's New Position as President of Uptime Institute

Well it looks like my post on Lee Kirby being promoted to president and the mystery of why Uptime Institute didn't post a press release has been resolved.  On Apr 11, 2016 Uptime posted a press release which I included below.

Reading the following it seems like there were people inside the company who had questions on how Lee Kirby's role affected COO Julian Kudritzki's position.  One possibility is Julian and Lee where competing for who would be the new president, and given Lee got the promotion questions arose what would happen to Julian.  This is pure speculation on my part as I have no conversations with any one at Uptime Institute for over 2 years. The people who I used to talk to at Uptime where people who I knew before they joined Uptime Institute.  So I guess officially I don't talk to anyone from Uptime which includes I never had a conversation with Ken Brill.

Uptime Institute Appoints R. Lee Kirby to New Position of President

Executive Leadership Changes Designed to Accelerate Company’s Global Growth and Expansion

APRIL 11, 2016, SEATTLE, WA - Uptime Institute, the globally recognized data center expert today announced the appointment of R. Lee Kirby to President of Uptime Institute. Kirby had previously held the position of Chief Technology Officer, providing thought leadership and technical vision. Julian Kudritzki retains the position of Chief Operating Officer and now takes on the direct leadership of important new strategic initiatives for the company with the new Efficient IT and Corporate Governance Advisory Services, standardizing global data center portfolios, and reducing resource consumption in IT infrastructure.

”These changes are intended to streamline reporting relationships, further align the organizational structure, and support global industry leadership,” said Martin V. McCarthy, Group Chairman and CEO of The 451 Group, Uptime Institute parent company. “Lee Kirby has driven the maturation and adoption of operational services and has played a key role in our strategic growth during his 3-year tenure at Uptime Institute. In his role as COO, Julian Kudritzki, a veteran of more than a decade at Uptime, has been fundamental to the success of Uptime Institute’s Tier Certification Services and now plays a critical role working directly with me as we broaden our position in the data center with strategic initiatives geared toward Efficient IT and IT Governance. We are all proud of the accomplishments of these talented individuals.”

Kirby has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of information systems, strategic business development, finance, planning, human resources and administration in both the private and public sectors. His core technical competency has focused on improving the performance of critical infrastructure through sustainable solutions that reduce power and water consumption across all industries. His leadership from business strategy development and a focus on sustainable operations has repeatedly driven value to all stakeholders. In addition to his years as a successful technology industry leader, Kirby had a successful military career of over 36 years (Ret. Colonel, US Army) and continues to serve as an advisor to many veteran support organizations.



Upgrading Your Home Wireless Network to Work Better

I have gone through a wide range of wireless network gear. I had Linksys gear that I ran DD-WRT. http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index.  I went for ease of use of using Cisco routers then Apple routers.  The Apple stuff worked well, but the ease of use came with a lack of data.  My biggest nightmare was being on the road and getting a call from the family, usually my daughter saying the wireless doesn't work.  Then I would take her through the steps to power reset the modem and then router.

Looking for something better I found the ubiquiti AP gear.  If you want an in depth review read this arstechnica article.  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/review-ubiquiti-unifi-made-me-realize-how-terrible-consumer-wi-fi-gear-is/

I bought my ubiquiti gear in July 2015 and it is so much better.  I have four access points.  Two in the house.  One in my office and another in the beach house.  Gigabit ethernet is connected to all the switches.  At first I used the Mac OS X software to manage the access points, but later I eventually ran the Ubiquiti controller software on by Drobo NAS.  Then I could log into the IP address:8043 and check the AP operations from a iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

So how is it using Ubiquiti gear?  So much better.  I can get information on the signal strength of devices connected and so much more. 

You need to be a bit of gear head to use Ubiquiti, but it is well worth it.

Attending 7x24 Exchange Spring 2016 Conference, Are you?

In 58 days 7x24 Exchange Spring Conference will start.  Why do I go?  Because I have more friends there than anywhere else.

Merriam-Webster definition of friend: a person who you like and enjoy being with

I can go to any data center conference and I'll run into friends and make new ones.  But when it comes to where do I have the most amount of friends and make the most new ones 7x24 Exchange Conferences is at the top of the list.


And in this large group of people are even the organizations who run other DC competing conferences so I can see those friends too.

Lee Kirby is new President of Uptime Institute, why no press release?

News was spreading yesterday that Lee is the new president of Uptime Institute.  If you go to the web site you will see the following description.  https://uptimeinstitute.com/about-ui/our-team

Lee Kirby - President

Mr. Kirby is President, providing thought leadership, new product development, and strategic marketing. He facilitates prospective engagements and delivers consistent quality services to contracted clients on a global basis. Additionally, Mr. Kirby serves as a spokesperson and evangelist for various initiatives that are focused on solving systemic issues in the industry. He is based in Seattle, Washington, USA.

For a promotion to president I and many others expected a press release from Uptime Institute, but none so far.  Oh well.  LinkedIn will suffice for now.

Steve Manos
Chief Business Officer at Server Farm Realty, LLC
Wanted to take time out to congratulate a wonderful friend, mentor and one of the most exceptional people I have ever met, Lee Kirby on his elevation to President of the Uptime Institute. An exceptional leader of an exceptional organization. Congratulations Lee.

Lee Kirby has been around in the data center industry for a while and is a great friend to many of us providing helpful suggestions.  One of the memories that sticks in my mind is Lee telling me years ago about 7x24 Exchange conference and his recommendation was key to get me to attend.

Google Tours Its Data Centers as part of the Cloud Battle

Google's Joe Kava presented at its Cloud Event.  Go to the 5 min mark in the below video.

Open a Chrome or Firefox browser and you can take this DC 360 degree tour.

Wouldn't it be great if Amazon and Microsoft responded in a similar way?

If you don't like watching videos there are a few news articles that report on the above.

Google finally told its most important cloud customers what they wanted to hear
Business Insider - ‎Mar 24, 2016‎
In fact, Kava claims that Google is the "world's largest private investor in renewable energy," with $2 billion given to wind and solar companies, as it tries to reduce its power consumption as much as it can. That's a cost savings that gets passed on ...

Google Cloud Platform's 3 keys to the roadmap: Data center, security, containers
TechRepublic - ‎22 hours ago‎
Joe Kava, one of the heads of Google's data center efforts, was the speaker who explained the company's strategy in the data center. Early on, there was a big push in the concept of "your data centers are Google's data centers," likely to position the ...
Google Cloud Platform touts investments in security, data centers, and containers

ZDNet - ‎Mar 24, 2016‎
DeMichillie then introduced data center head Joe Kava, who walked through Google's data center strategy. According to Kava, the core principles of Google's approach to data centers are availability, security, and performance. Kava explained the company ...

So is 48V DC a big deal for the Data Center? Google's OCP contribution

Google's Urs Hoelzle announcing the contribution of 48V and rack design at OCP summit was the news of the Summit.

Google's contribution is posted here.

Why is 48V a big deal? if you are pushing higher performing chips as Google's Urs Hoelzle has discussed in his paper on the need for brawny cores vs. wimpy cores.  There is a need for GPUs as mentioned in the post.

As the industry's working to solve these same problems and dealing with higher-power workloads, such as GPUs for machine learning, it makes sense to standardize this new design by working with OCP. We believe this will help everyone adopt this next generation power architecture, and realize the same power efficiency and cost benefits as Google.

Why would Google contribute the 48V DC design?  As one ex-Googler said at OCP Google wants to reduce the cost of the 48V DC converters and to do that they need more volume.  And Google has a history of sharing its innovations.  See the below timeline on Google's contributions