Mike Manos is back blogging on Loosebolts, and starts off his first discussing his decision to exit Microsoft.
First we need to pull our heads out of the tactical world of data centers and look at the larger emerging landscape in which data centers sit. Microsoft, along with Google, Amazon and a few others are taking aim at Cloud Computing and are designing, building, and operating a different kind of infrastructure with different kinds of requirements. Specifically building ubiquitous services around the globe. In my previous role, I was tasked with thinking about and building this unique infrastructure in concert with hundreds of development groups taking aim at building a core set of services for the cloud. A wonderful blend of application and infrastructure. Its a great thing. But as my personal thought processes matured and deepened on this topic flavored with what I was seeing as emerging trends in business, technology and data center requirements I had a personal epiphany. The concept of large monolithic clouds ruling the Information-sphere was not really complete. Don’t get me wrong, they will play a large and significant role in how we compute tomorrow, but instead of an oligarchy of the few, I realized that enterprise data centers are here to stay and additionally we are likely to see an explosion of different cloud types are on the horizon.
The problem Mike is tackling is the role of data centers as information utilities.
In my opinion it is here in this new emerging space where the Information Utility will ultimately be born, defined, and true innovation in our industry (data center-wise) will take place. This may seem rather unintuitive given the significant investments being made by the big cloud players but it is really not. We have to remember that today, any technology must sate basic key requirements. First and foremost amongst these is that it must solve the particular business problems. Technology for technology sake will never result in significant adoption and the big players are working to perfect platforms that will work across a predominance of applications being specifically developed for their infrastructure. In effect they are solving for their issues. Issues that most of those looking to leverage cloud or shared compute will not necessarily match in either scale or standardization of server and IT environments. There will definitely be great advances in technology, process, and a host of other areas, as a result of this work, but their leveragability is ultimately minimized as their environments, while they look like each other’s, will not easily map into the enterprise, near-enterprise, or near-cloud space. The NASA space program has had thousands of great solutions, and some of them have been commercialized for the greater good. I see similar things happening in the data center space. Not everyone can get sub 1.3 Average PUE numbers, but they can definitely use those learnings to better their own efficiency in some way. While these large platforms in conjunction with enterprise data centers will provide key and required services, the innovation and primary requirement drivers in the future will come from the channel.
Why Digital Realty?
In Digital Realty Trust I found the great qualities I was looking for in any company. First, they are positioned to provide either “information substation” or “enterprise” solutions and will need to solve for both. They are effectively right in the middle of solving these issues and they are big enough to have a dramatic impact on the industry. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, they have a passionate, forward looking management team whom I have interacted with in the Industry for quite some time.
Another area where there is significant alignment in terms of my own personal beliefs and those of Digital Realty Trust is around speed of execution and bringing capacity online just in time. Its no secret that I have been an active advocate of moving from big build and construction to a just in time production model.
I think we are going to see more of Mike Manos out there now that he is at Digital Realty Trust.
In the end, my belief is that it will be companies like Digital Realty Trust at the spearhead of driving the design, physical technology application and requirements for the global Information Utility infrastructure. They will clearly be situated the closest to those changing requirements for the largest amount of affected groups. It is going to be a huge challenge. A challenge, I for one am extremely excited about and can’t wait to dig in and get started.
As much as there is curiosity about Google, Microsoft, and Amazon data centers, these companies will only share what passes internal approval processes. I challenge any internal group to limit what Mike can talk about. Mike knows part of being innovative comes risk, and he took a risk leaving a nice safe Microsoft position building data centers for its own needs, to building data centers as information utility infrastructure.
We need more people like Mike out there talking about changes in the industry.
Add Loosebolts to your rss readers as i am sure Mike will be discussing all kinds of things. http://loosebolts.wordpress.com/feed/