Microsoft and Facebook Partner for Atlantic cable from VA to Spain, a step in connecting the World

Microsoft's PR group sent me the announcement of the new Atlantic cable project with Facebook. There is a race to wire the world and this is just one more step by a couple of the big players.

There is a blog entry.

Wired has some statement from Facebook.

“If you look at the cable systems across the Atlantic, a majority land in the Northeast somewhere,” says Najam Ahmad, Facebook’s vice president of network engineering. “This gives us so many more options.”

With More Limits on Your Work, Are you Better? Great Example 25 sq m Paris Flat

Some people think think their work would be better if they had more freedom. There are another set of people who embrace the limits, the constraints on what can done as challenges. Below is a video of an architect sharing his design of Paris Flat that is 25 sq meters.  I enjoyed watching it and given this post has been live only 3 days and has 100k views many others do as well.

Best 8 Watts of Power Spent in Home Office - PFSense Opensource Firewall

If you want an all in one easy to use Router, Firewall and Access Point than Google OnHub is a good choice.

If you want to run a more powerful system with security features than try PFsense. I've been running PFsense SG-2220 Security Gateway appliance for 9 months and it has been solid using only 8 watts.

here is a post by PCGamer reviewing OnHub and preferring the use of PFsense.

The ideal situation for us was using the OnHub in bridge mode, so that we could use a more advanced router to do routing duties. In our case, connecting the OnHub to a product like the pfSense gateway is the ultimate solution.

For my home office I use Ubiquiti access points.  I have two in the main house. I could use one, but the data center DNA has me wired to prefer redundancy. Then one in the office.  And another in the beach house.  Single SSID. Automatic frequency configuration. And all kinds of good monitoring so I know things are working.

Why the focus on monitoring? Because monitoring fits in a more secure solution.

InfoWorld wrote a review of PFSense.

Fast and feature-rich pfSense may be the best firewall bar none — and it’s free and open source

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.

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.  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.

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.