AOL's Mike Manos celebrates the Data Center Independence on 4th of July 2012, freedom via the micro data center

Mike Manos has a post on AOL's Data Center independence.  The micro data center looks like it has a 50KW capacity which could support a configuration like 100 dual proc 128 GB RAM,  dual HD servers, network switch, and storage appliance.  16 processor cores would give the micro data center 1,600 VM cores with 8 GB of RAM.  Slide in some SSD's to make the environment energy efficient and higher performing.  This is a nice cloud environment as modules to deploy.  I think Mike learned that a 40' container is not as flexible.  You can air ship a micro data center and it is much easier to deploy.  Air shipping a 40' container is really really expensive and can be difficult to deploy.

AOL’s Data Center Independence Day

Yesterday we celebrated Independence Day here in the United States.   It’s a day where we embrace the freedoms we enjoy as a country, look back on where we have come, and celebrate the promise of the future.   Yesterday was also a different kind of Independence Day for my teams at AOL.  A Data Center Independence Day, if you will. 









Now you may say where would you put AOL's micro data center.  One place AOL could put them is at cell tower locations.


It is reasonable in the future that in major metropolitan areas there will be a local data center presence.  Netflix has been expanding its network WW.  


Open Connect Peering Locations

Private Network Interconnect Sites

CityProviderSite Identifier
Ashburn Equinix DC Campus
Atlanta Telx 56 Marrietta
Chicago Equinix CH1/CH2/CH4
London Telecity Sovereign House
London Telecity Harbour Exchange
Los Angeles Coresite One Wilshire
Los Angeles Equinix LA1
Miami Terremark NAP Of The Americas
New York Telx 111 8th Avenue
San Jose Equinix SV1/SV5

Peering Exchanges

CityExchangeIPv4 AddressIPv6 Address
Ashburn Equinix Internet Exchange 2001:504:0:2::2906:1
Atlanta Telx Internet Exchange    
Chicago Equinix Internet Exchange 2001:504:0:4::2906:1
London LINX Juniper LAN 2001:7f8:4::b5a:1
London LONAP 2001:7f8:17::b5a:1
Los Angeles Coresite Any2 2001:504:13:0:0:0:0:215
Miami NOTA 2001:478:124::1071
New York Telx Internet Exchange    
New York Telehouse NYIIX    
San Jose Equinix Internet Exchange 2001:504:0:1::2906:2

One of the top limits for where companies can deploy data centers is the local resource requirement.  Mike's team has an option, where as long as they get power and network, their micro data center will run, managed remotely.

  • It redefines software architecture for greater resiliency
  • It allows us an incredibly flexible platform for driving and addressing privacy laws, regulatory oversight, and other such concerns allowing us to respond rapidly.
  • It further reduces energy consumption and carbon footprint emissions (important as taxation evolves around the world, as well as ongoing operational costs)
  • Gives us the ability to drive Edge Computing delivery to potentially bypass CDNs for certain content.
  • Gives us the capability to drive ‘Community-in-a-box’ whereby we can quickly launch new products in markets, quickly expand existing footprints like Patch in a low cost, but still hyper-local platform, allow the Huffington Post a platform to rapidly partner and enter new markets with minimal cost turn ups.
  • The fact that the technology mix in our SKUs is comprised of compute, storage, and network capacity maximizes the amount of products and services we can deploy to it.  

The race that is going on between the Google, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, and Apple is to get the low latency presence to users.  AOL is a player in this game as well.

Are you willing to be a little wild? Your brain can be 15-30% bigger than domesticated

I am reading an interesting book "Touchpoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest Moments."

And one of the points made is

research has found that the brains of domesticated animals are 15 to 30 percent smaller than those of their wild counterparts.

A comment I recently received is I am "loose cannon." Which can be bad if you are in large corporate environment where you want everyone to behave appropriately.  Luckily, I no longer work in a corporate environment, and being a loose cannon is not a bad thing.

Even data center events can be highly domesticated like a zoo where there is a program and routine you are expected to stick to.  Stay on message according to the event's marketing program.  At some events the presentation titles are written by the event staff for the speakers to stay in their cage, containing what they say.

The Touchpoint book continues

So if you want to thrive in a fiercely competitive global environment, you need to stay a little wild. You need to be alert and continuously update your skills. Today's organizations draw on the best talent from all over the world. This means that the standards keep going up, and you need to get better just to stay in place.

An example of being wild is Mike Manos. At last year's Uptiime Symposium Mike had a programmed talk.  And, thanks to some prodding from some data center thought leaders, Mike went a little wild and said what is wrong with so much of the industry is "we act like Donkeys."  Highly domesticated animals with days of gloom like Eeyore.  I don't think anyone who would call Eeyore talented, except to bring down the energy down in the room.

Mike's call to action is to be a Chaos Monkey.  Break things and see what happens.


Afterwards Mike's talk, Mike said he had dozens of people come up to him and admit they were donkeys.  The guy I was sitting next to said he is "chaos monkey." I am too, and it is more fun.

Do you favor being a domesticated donkey?  Most do, because you don't you lose your job in a risk averse culture which is most data center organizations.

Or are you a little wild with a brain that is 15-30% bigger than the domesticated crowd?

The nice thing about a smaller brain is you don't think about being a little wild. You get comfortable in your skin, like Eeyore.


Green the Data Center with your creative, innovative, passionate team

I am kind of tired of hearing another technology that green the data center.  Why?  Because no one technology can green your data center.  Being LEED certified or a low PUE is old news.

So, if you do want to green your data center what should you do?  You need to empower your team to be creative, innovative and passionate about what they can do.

Mike Manos has a post on the creating a culture of Creativiity.

Creating a culture of Creativity….


I came across this talk by John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) from 1991 about the process of building creativity.   I could not help but think of the applicability of building organizations that are creative.  In my opinion getting people out of the grind, the day to day blocking and tackling, into a place where they can begin to solve for things is more about the attitude and engagement of the team.  Its also one of the key cultural things I try to build in an organization.


I am reading a book on "Leading Teams" which actually requires me to buy the hardback book as it is not available on the kindle.


"Written with exceptional clarity and wit, and teeming with original, down-to-earth advice, Leading Teams is indispensable reading for anyone who works in teams, studies them, or wonders what makes them sink or soar."

-Harvey Hornstein, Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University

"This is the book I have been waiting for on team effectiveness. Based on findings and containing insights from the leading researcher on teams, Leading Teams has everything. It is engaging, highly readable, and full of practical, useful advice."

-Edward Lawler, Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Effective Organizations, University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

"Full of rich stories and organized into compelling cases, Leading Teams clearly communicates an elegant analysis of effective team leadership. A gem for practitioners and researchers alike."

-Chris Argyris, James B. Conant Professor Emeritus, Harvard University and Director, Monitor Group

"In Leading Teams Dr. Hackman takes his extensive knowledge of how to effectively lead teams and mixes it with insightful research and humor, providing the reader with a powerful prescription for improving team performance."

-Dave Bushy, Former Senior Vice President of Flight Operations and 747 Captain, Delta Airlines

Mike and I are having fun exchanging ideas, writing blog posts, and discussing all kinds of interesting things.  Some of the stuff we are discussing doesn't fit the typical categories. So, i decided one that is just tagged "Mike Manos"

I'll write more about the Leading Teams book when I finish it.