CIO's view of the Data Center, a 2006 perspective from Lars Rabbe at Yahoo

I wrote a blog post on Lars Rabbe back in Nov. 2011

Data Center Thought Leadership, accumulated by companies or people?

DatacenterKnowledge just posted on the Yahoo Factor in data centers referring to Kevin Timmons, Lars Rabbe, Scott Noteboom, and Tom Furlong.

But, after spending the past 3 days chatting with the current Data Center Thought Leadership who were at 7x24 Exchange, I think we would have all had a good laugh.  Scott Noteboom is not part of this crowd as once you walk into Apple, you disappear from the data center crowd.  Kevin Timmons escaped this situation and is now CTO of Cyrus One and was busy meeting and greeting at 7x24.  Tom Furlong was circulating after his presentation on the Open Compute Project and Facebook's data centers.  Lars Rabbe is busy flying around the world between Estonia, Palo Alto (Skype bldg), and Redmond (Microsoft HQ).

For your public consumption i found this 2006 ZDNet CIO video where Lars discusses how data centers need to be built differently.

In the transcript which has some character set mapping issues (apostrophes) are lots of mentions of data centers.


How people react to the products and what makes a better product in terms of what is it that appeals to people inside the product and how the product interacts with you. On the side of data center innovation we are really working on expanding, let’s say, the processing footprint worldwide. We’re at the point now where the data center industry has really been left behind by the growth of the internet companies and we, along with other companies, are now building our own data centers. And we’re taking the opportunity while we’re building these data centers to really think about “is the conventional data center really what fits our needs�, and it turns out in a lot of areas that it really doesn’t, that we can do things much better if we design our own data center from the ground up. We’d recently broke ground on a data center in the Pacific Northwest and we’re going to be applying a bunch of new technologies there, some of which we’re actually inventing ourselves in terms of how do you put together the data center, how do you take best advantage of the power because that is one of the biggest issues when you are running a data center. The cost of power, so saving power is a big deal.


Of course.

Yeh!!! a CIO that talks power efficient data centers.


And, in general we’ve got to save power. So the ability to make a much more power efficient data center is what will make a big difference.


Now it seems that every company that’s reaching large scale is building new data centers and building them more efficiently in the areas where the cost of electricity is much cheaper. But it seems to me that that’s an opportunity for shared innovation as opposed to each company doing it on its own and inventing its own kinds of innovations to drive those data centers. Do you see that as a possibility?

Here is one of the best comments.


I think there are some competitive advantages in some of this and there are certainly some of these things that we will patent because we consider them to be significantly different. But I also agree that if we come up with ideas that as such will make the industry more power efficient we absolutely will share those and we are using the same contractors also. I’m sure those contractors in turn will leverage those ideas for future construction and future concepts of data centers.

The Green Data Center idea was discussed back in 2006 by Lars.  How is that for Thought Leadership?