Yahoo VP Data Center Operations preaches Information Factory mindset as way to green the data center

I had the chance to meet Scott Noteboom at Data Center Dynamics in Chicago last week, but missed his talk as I was hosting the other hall while he presented.  We had a nice discussion though later, and discussed the Yahoo Chicken Coop design as I had a chance to interview Chris Page 2 weeks earlier.

Yahoo's Data Center Future, Industrial Data Center Revolution

I had a chance to talk to Chris Page, Yahoo's Director Climate and Energy Strategy at Yahoo! Inc.  I've had the opportunity to watch Chris's presentations over the years at various data center conferences, and I was curious on what she had to share after three years at Yahoo!.

Luckily at AFCOM's Data Center World I got a chance to see Scott present the same talk again.  I really liked Scott's presentation as he presented on many topics I discussed a year ago like The Data Center as an Information Factory.  Here is what I wrote a year ago.

Nov 04, 2009

Can you Green the Data Center? Maybe if you think in terms of an Information Factory

I have been writing on the Green Data Center topic for over 2 years with 1,000 blog posts. And, one of the things I have found is the name “data center” is not an accurate description to the layman of what data centers do. Are data centers the “center of data”?  In the past there was one corporate building that was the place where data was housed for the corporation. The standard for Fortune 500 companies now is to have multiple data centers around the world to provide information availability, disaster recovery, and reliability. How can there be multiple centers of data? If you green the data center what am I supposed to green? These multiple centers?  How?

What I propose is a more accurate description of what data centers are in this economy.  The Data Center is an information factory, a building that makes information suitable for use with information machinery – servers, storage, and networking hardware. Information is the raw material input into the factory. Software running on the hardware processes information increasing the value. Like any other manufacturing process electricity is used to power and cool the machinery.  How much power is used to run these information factories, in 2006 1.5% of the US electricity production was in data centers, doubling 2000 consumption, growing at a 12% annual rate.


The above is an image Google uses to illustrate its green Information Factory (aka data center).

Here is Scott's talk



with a point made to demand three things - speed , performance, cost.


Scott makes the point about Castles vs. Factories.


Which looks like my point about Fortresses vs. Factories.  :-)

Aug 06, 2009

Data Center Site Selection - Are you building an Information Fortress or a Flexible Information Factory?

Mike Manos writes a long post on his blog driven by Microsoft’s recent decision to move Windows Azure out of Washington State.

The Cloud Politic – How Regulation, Taxes, and National Borders are shaping the infrastructure of the cloud

Yahoo suggests a change in site selection, innovation, and efficiency which leads to a greener data center.


I could go on about things I liked about Scott's talk as so much of what he presented are ideas I have discussed on this blog.  But, talking about ideas is not nearly as interesting as showing the results.


Yahoo is setting the bar to share its current data center practices which align with a green data center.