Mike Manos and Olivier Sanche conversation, Data Center Design is a popularity contest?

Mike Manos has a post discussing a conversation he had with Olivier Sanche, Apple’s Global DC Director.

Opinion Polls and the End of Times

October 9, 2009 by mmanos

I recently had an interesting e-mail exchange with Olivier Sanche the chief DC architect at Apple.  As you probably know this is a very small industry and Olivier and I have enjoyed a long professional working relationship.   He remarked that we are approaching the end of times, as we were both nominated for a Data Center Dream Team in an industry magazine.  I agreed with him wholeheartedly.

We we were referring to the poll being conducted by the Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) who is conducting a survey to see who would represent the Industry’s best Data Center Dream Team.  While its a definite honor to be mentioned, it definitely signals the end of times.  :)

To me the phrase “Dream Team” conjures images of people with a long list of accomplishments.   Its a bit strange to think of the Data Center Industry at large as having made significant movement forward.  There has been a tremendous amount of innovation in the last few years, and I do definitely believe we are at the start of something truly revolutionary in our industry, I think its probably way to early in our steps forward to start defining success like this.  

For those of you interested the poll is located below.  Please keep in mind that you cannot see the results without actually taking the poll itself.



Here are the poll results so far.


I totally agree with Mike’s point on this being too early to celebrate progress, but this is a marketing stunt by WHIR.  Not reflective of true design leadership.

There are so many other people out there pushing the edge of design like Microsoft’s Daniel Costello, MegaWatt Consulting KC Mares, bunches of people at Google and Amazon.

You could vote, but Rob Roy has already rallied his supporters in a popularity contest to vote for him.  You know Rob Roy is going to be marketing his winning the WHIR Data Center Designer title.

What would be interesting to see is the list of people on the Write-in.

For a perspective, check out the comments on Mike’s blog entry.  Manos and Sanche get mentioned in the last comment, and I agree with his comments on the innovation from these two.

3 Responses
  1. on October 9, 2009 at 8:46 am | Reply Gerald Downs

    I just took this poll and I have to say I was shocked! Rob Roy from SwitchNap is leading the data center designed category? Please! That man is a total joke. He probably voted for himself a million times. You and Olivier have 1000 times more experience than he does. They should have put him in the self-promoter category or marketing.

  2. on October 9, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Reply m00sh00

    Wow Gerald you are spectacularly uninformed. Apparently you have never been to see the SuperNAP or you would know it for the engineering triumph that it is. Rob Roy invented something that outperforms anything built by anyone else on that list, or in the data center industry for that matter. You might want to check your facts.

  3. on October 10, 2009 at 9:05 am | Reply Gerald Downs


    I have been on his dog and pony tour through that facility and I can tell you that there is absolutely nothing new. The whole tour was seriously a conversation in a cult of personality around Roy. I would also be curious as to how easily names get dropped as far as other customers in the building. As far as I am concerned his modularized approach and mechanical designs have been present in the military, oil and gas, and other industries for a long time. But you dont really have to go that far. You can easily look to the work being done by Google and Microsoft and a ton of others to see this same kind of thing. Not to plug Manos, but he has done the same thing on a much bigger, global scale than Roy. Additionally, Olivier Sanche who is mentioned is another truly innovator in the data center industry. Additionally, both Sanche and Manos are out there talking to the industry. I have yet to see Roy show up to ANY industry events. Perhaps he is to busy playing the with action figures in his office.

    I think it might be you who needs to check your facts.