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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Datacenter Pioneer Dies


The person who is credited with playing an important role in creating the modern data centre has recently died of cancer – Kenneth Brill was 69 years old. He singled-handedly created an industry out of nothing – indeed, before him and his UpTime Institute, data centers had no identity or commonality.

Kenneth Brill saw how he could create an industry which was able to share and use data to improve operations. UpTime Institute created tier classifications for comparing data centers, and today people are always talking about tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 data centers.

In addition, Brill was also a big fan of data center energy efficiency, always hoping to see better communication between IT staff and the engineering teams which run data centers, that he thought was the only way to get the most from operations. His most recent major statement was following Amazon’s prolonged outage, warning that the concentration of computing resources with major cloud providers was a drawback for those who champion internal reliability.

Kenneth Brill believed that cloud providers were facing same problems as Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant – in other words, it would work fine until a following disaster has enormous consequences. The data center pioneer predicted that there will be more failures than people have been seeing, because we “have already forgotten what we had to do to get to where we are”.

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