Google's Joe Kava presenting at 7x24 Exchange chapter event, Mar 6, 2015, Hillsboro, OR

Google's Joe Kava, VP of data centers is presenting at 7x24 Exchange's Chapter Meeting in Oregon at Intel's Jones Farm Campus in Hillsboro on Friday,  Mar 6th 2015 at 10a.  The link to the event is here.  If you are interested in attending contact Keith Knight.

Google's first owned data center is in Oregon.

Google is proud to call Oregon home to Google’s first owned and operated data center.

We opened our data center at The Dalles in 2006—investing $1.2 billion in the facility and establishing a long-term commitment to the region and state. Now a fully operational site, we’ve created over 80 full-time jobs on site, and we work hard to support the communities in which our employees live and work.

Apple, Google, Facebook lead the Green Data Center Efforts

Gigaom's Katie Fehrenbacher has written a nice piece on the green data center efforts, highlighting the leaders - Apple, Google, and Facebook.

The world’s largest internet companies are turning to clean power to run their data centers like never before. This month we saw huge clean power deals from Apple, including big solar projects planned in California and Arizona, and a big wind buy from Google to provide local power for its headquarters in Silicon Valley.

But it wasn’t always this way. It’s only been in the last several years that Apple, Google, Facebook and others have been embracing clean power as a viable option to provide a significant amount of power for their data centers, and it’s taken years for the power industry, and the internet companies themselves, to adjust to and learn about this emerging world.

Katie tells her own personal story of covering the green data center efforts starting in 2012.

I took my first road trip around the area in the summer of 2012 and wrote about the companies’ complicated relationship with the region’s dirty and clean power options. In late 2013, I took another trip to investigate Apple’s already built monumental solar farms there.

Disclosure: Katie Fehrenbacher is a friend and I will regularly discuss discuss the green data center topic when we are at events like Gigaom Structure.

UPS executives and software developers learn usability and execution lessons

Long, long time ago I thought of working for UPS.  Why?  Because my degree choice of Industrial Engineering made me think of where I would work.  Luckily I realized that going to work for high technology companies and applying industrial engineering was a more interesting path which led me to HP, Apple, and Microsoft.  One of my first passions was logistics and I worked on logistics systems and software from 1983 to 1987 at HP and Apple.  I still like reading about FedEx, UPS and other logistics challenges.

The WSJ has a post on UPS's Orion software a 10 year effort to squeeze even more optimization out of routes.  What I found most interesting beyond the $100s of millions of dollars saved a year is listed in the following.

The WSJ says the Orion needed to learn to accommodate people.

Rough Patches
The deployment of Orion isn’t always so smooth, though. That is where Mr. Levis comes in. As project manager, he is responsible for getting people and machines to work together. During the earlier stages of writing the Orion algorithm, it was Orion that had to learn to accommodate people.

This one made me laugh because it makes you think the software has its own mind of what it decides to do.  No.  It was the executives and software developers who choose to ignore the human usability issues.

In the next paragraph, the other lesson of executing the plan is described.

“The project was nearly killed in 2007, because it kept spitting out answers that we couldn’t implement,” Mr. Levis recalls. The earliest versions of Orion focused on getting the best mathematical results, with insufficient regard for the interests of the driver or the customer, who value some level of routine. For example, regular business customers who receive packages on a daily basis don’t want UPS to show up at 10 a.m. one day, and 5 p.m. the next. And a customer who is expecting a shipment of frozen food needs delivery as soon as possible, even if efficiency demands that someone gets priority.

To get the project back on track, UPS chief scientist Ranga Nuggehalli turned to Bob Santilli, a senior project manager, asking him to describe a perfect route. Several weeks later, Mr. Santilli came back with the results of his effort, which produced a model plan of stops for drivers on a route in Lancaster, Pa. The engineering team extracted proprietary rules from the Santilli route and built them into Orion.

How could UPS have avoided some of these mistakes?  The approach I use is to not treat the users as individuals in the system.  It can be too easy to discount things because you don't see the impact of points they make.  Think of the team of people working together.  How do they work together and how well your software support them working better as a team.  Even now I would say Orion could be improved if was a way for a team of drivers to work together make feedback and suggestions on improvements of usability.

Reflection on 2013 and 2014 Cloud Market from Charles Fitzgerald

Gigaom's Barb Darrow writes on Platformonomics posts on the cloud market

If you want a cogent — and hilarious — assessment of the state of cloud, take a look at Charles Fitzgerald’s latest blog post “A dispatch from cloud city — 2014 retrospective.”

Fitzgerald, managing director of Platformonomics, a strategy consulting firm, has an incisive take on how legacy IT powers — Cisco, HP (HP Enterprise?), IBM, Microsoft and others are performing in what HP CEO Meg Whitman would probably call a “multi-year transformation.” Fitzgerald, formerly an exec at Microsoft and VMware, assigns each legacy vendor a “delusion factor” to indicate how its stated view of its position in cloud contrasts with reality.


Here is a Charles's 2014 reflection.

And here is his 2013 reflection.

Fyi is a part of the Seattle Tech crowd so he is immersed in the cloud platform

6 Innovations that made the Data Center Industry

I have been reading much more than normal which makes it so I haven't been writing as much.  One good book I read is Steven Johnson's Book On How We Got to Now

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World [Kindle Edition]
Steven Johnson

The 6 things are Glass (Fiber Optics), Cold (remove the heat), Sound (Digital/recording), Clean (Infrastructure), Time (data I/O), Light (Fiber Optics again).  For any of you data center nerds you will see how these 6 important inventions all made the data center industry possible.

Isn't Mobile-First, Cloud-First like saying you want to be Apple and AWS?

Arstechnica has an article saying that Microsoft is still Steve Ballmer's Microsoft and Satya is running things.

One year in, it’s still Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft—Satya Nadella just runs it
Microsoft’s direction hasn’t changed. Its perception has.

by Peter Bright - Feb 4 2015, 4:01am PST
Over the long haul, Microsoft’s hope is that its new focus—whether you call it “Devices and Services” or “Mobile-first, cloud-first”—will make up for the dependence on PC sales. This transition is perhaps one of the best reasons for Nadella’s appointment as CEO. As one of the big cloud champions within the company under the old regime, it’s fitting that he should continue the work as leader of the new company. The new Microsoft may have started under the old CEO, but the new CEO has given it a kind of visibility and credibility that it lacked before.

The last paragraph in closing is making a positive spin on the Mobile-first, cloud-first strategy.  But, when you think of who has made mobile-first I think of Apple and for cloud-first I think of AWS.

How can you put two things first?

And is what being said is be like Apple and AWS, but branded Microsoft?

I am confused.