Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ken Brill, the Man Who Defined the Data Center, Dies

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the rest-in-peace dept.

News 40

dcblogs writes "The founder of the UpTime Institute, Kenneth G. Brill, 69, died Tuesday, the institute's parent company announced. Brill, an electrical engineer by training, is credited with playing an enormous role in shaping the modern data center industry. 'He singled-handedly crafted an industry out of nothing,' said Mike Manos, the chief technology officer at AOL, who had known Brill since the late 1990s. Until Brill's efforts, enterprises had been defining and measuring data centers in their own way, said Manos. 'There was no commonality.' Today, 'you can't go anywhere in the world without people talking about tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 data centers — it's that fundamental,' he said. In 2011, following Amazon's prolong outage, Brill warned that the perceived reliability of large cloud providers was going to lead to problems. 'There will always be an advocate for how it can be done cheaper, [but] if you haven't had a failure for five years — who is the advocate for reliability?' said Brill. 'My prediction is that in the years ahead, we will see more failures than we have been seeing, because people have forgotten what we had to do to get to where we are.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

reliability (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44452301)

'My prediction is that in the years ahead, we will see more failures than we have been seeing, because people have forgotten what we had to do to get to where we are.'

And considering the cloud isn't exactly known for reliability right now, yet another reason not to trust your data out there.

Re:reliability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44452543)

but data recovery is only an foia request away.

Re:reliability (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44453415)

but data recovery is only an foia request away.

Request denied!

-- Col. WIlhelm Klink, Information Officer, NSA.

Re:reliability (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44452695)

'My prediction is that in the years ahead, we will see more failures than we have been seeing, because people have forgotten what we had to do to get to where we are.'

And considering the cloud isn't exactly known for reliability right now, yet another reason not to trust your data out there.

Is any multi-region cloud provider less reliable than any single-site datacenter? There will always be unexpected disasters (or at least unplanned for, you may expect an asteroid to hit the planet every 50,000 years, but that doesn't mean that you've built the datacenter to survive it) and human error (like "oops, I wish I hadn't dropped my wrench into that panel, 480VAC makes a lot of sparks... it sure is dark in here now"), so it's not clear that cloud providers are siginificantly worse in that regard.

Of course, when a business's primary data center goes down, few people hear about it, while when Amazon has a regional outage (or even in a single Availability Zone), everyone hears about it because it affects hundreds or thousands of companies.

Re:reliability (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44452865)

If you are thinking of how to host your website, it might not be a problem. At that point, you have more control. If you are thinking of putting your own personal data on some black-box, that will always be worse than a known entity.

Re:reliability (3, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#44453703)

But is it only about reliability?

Dealing, in the last week, with a 30 user Exchange outage (MB blew a capacitor, HDDs needed a restore) installed on-site, it made me realize why I originally chose to offsite the new domain's email instead of hosting it locally. The MS shop guys had a different plan and moved it all over to the Exchange server.

So it's now been like three days while they wait for a MB replacement when there would have been nearly no downtime had we been on the service I originally set up.

Reliability doesn't matter when you still have to wait a few days for parts (yes, this happens). Meanwhile you have some MS shop dictating things when a proper cloud service option is clearly the smarter deal.

There's certainly something to be said for hosting locally (or at least keeping a copy), but for most businesses that don't want to deal with some random employee being "the IT guy", offloading this to some facility somewhere for $70/mo simply makes sense. You think Cathy the checkout girl (who took an IT class in college) wants to wake up at 2am to deal with a blown capacitor?

Re:reliability (2)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year ago | (#44454495)

Outsourcing 30 users is likely the top end of a sweet-spot though. Once you hit 50, those initial economies/efficiencies go away, as you would want In-house redundancy, data discovery, proper archiving, etc., which add up to real money in a cloud solution. There are other break-points as you go up depending on organization needs.

Re:reliability (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44454681)

The MS shop guys had a different plan.......So it's now been like three days while they wait

They clearly didn't have much of a plan.

Re:reliability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455589)

Well the simple question is, why don't you have 2 Exchange servers? If e-mail is that important to the business, surely two servers is affordable. And Exchange makes it very, very easy to build a highly available system.

Re:reliability (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#44455789)

why don't you have 2 Exchange servers?

No, the simple question would be, why haven't we just migrated to Gmail?

It would only be fitting ... (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#44452303)

... if he is laid to rest below a couple of raised floor panels.

Re:It would only be fitting ... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44452567)

... if he is laid to rest below a couple of raised floor panels.

lowered into his grave by power cables.

industrial HVAC to maintain constant temperature and humidity in the burial chamber

And a couple LS-120's set about to log the event on tractor feed paper, right out of a box.

Re:It would only be fitting ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44452589)

Wait, isn't that just Lenin's Tomb?

I need to see a Gartner study... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44453149)

I need to see a Gartner study...that TCOD (Total Cost of Death) seems a bit high.

I thought Google defined the data-center. (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about a year ago | (#44452367)

I thought Google defined the data-center.

http://infolab.stanford.edu/pub/voy/museum/pictures/display/0-4-Google.htm [stanford.edu]

Re:I thought Google defined the data-center. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44452577)

off course, an article from stanford - googles alma mater :)

Re:I thought Google defined the data-center. (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44452579)

I thought Google defined the data-center.

http://infolab.stanford.edu/pub/voy/museum/pictures/display/0-4-Google.htm [stanford.edu]

They just re-defined it. Don't forget, Google began with a ton of commodity PC motherboards stuck in racks.

Now they have money, the redefined their needs.

Meanwhile ... we started with a broom closet and still need to get the water sprinklers removed :(

people talk about "tier X" datacenters, but differ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44452381)

on what each tier means.

This is a case where there are too many different standards, all using the same terms.

In any case, administrative processes are going to affect uptime numbers far more than simple infrastructure redundancy

remember that Google (who has some of the best uptime around) doesn't bother with dual power for it's servers, so it could not be more than a lowly tier 2 datacenter per some standards.

Re:people talk about "tier X" datacenters, but dif (4, Informative)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | about a year ago | (#44452651)

on what each tier means.

This is a case where there are too many different standards, all using the same terms.

In any case, administrative processes are going to affect uptime numbers far more than simple infrastructure redundancy

remember that Google (who has some of the best uptime around) doesn't bother with dual power for it's servers, so it could not be more than a lowly tier 2 datacenter per some standards.

The actual standards define availability redundancy and concurrency of systems, not of individual devices. When your systems are composed of multiple independent devices, it affects what is looked at accordingly.

Re:people talk about "tier X" datacenters, but dif (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year ago | (#44454515)

UpTime Institute got the tiers more standardized though; even some of the telecom companies have gone from Bellcore tiers to uptime tiers (1 most critical to 4 most critical). Ken and UpTime did a lot for the industry. They also did a lot to the industry. They tried to complicate the simplification in order to monetize it. Plenty of others are guilty of the same thing, but I do wish Uptime would go away as the standard-bearer.

Re:people talk about "tier X" datacenters, but dif (1)

Lennie (16154) | about a year ago | (#44454789)

Their solution is the right software and no legacy applcations, a lot of existing applications are not 'cloud scale' or whatever you want to call it.

So it won't automatically send the same request to an other machine and have it work.

That is what is needed if you want to play 'in the cloud' properly. Only then will you get reliability and costsavings.

All the other legacy applications people put 'in the cloud' will have less reliability in 'the cloud'.

He said he was Brill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44452415)

Did he say it or did you, and he picked up on it? Come on. Think.

Poll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44452473)

Why is the poll comment section closed?

Re:Poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44452575)

It says on the page:

"This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted"

So it is clearly because "the discussion has been archived".

Re:Poll (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#44452909)

With 0 comments preserved for eternity

The man knows (0)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#44452697)

you're getting fooled via numerical proof

quit talking shit about that which you know nothing about.

Re:The man knows (0)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#44452703)

To save face, none of you people know shit about what I'm talking about.

Quit thinking you know shit, assholes.

But isn't the data-center (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44452913)

a software defined data-center ?

Re:But isn't the data-center (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about a year ago | (#44454097)

No, it is a data-defined software center.

Ken Brill, Died at 69 (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about a year ago | (#44453063)

It's a good way to go.

Re:Ken Brill, Died at 69 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44453119)

Not according to Michael Douglas!

Re:Ken Brill, Died at 69 (1)

2fuf (993808) | about a year ago | (#44455001)

Not for his partner though, probably...

Which data center? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44453373)

The title of the article says "the Data Center." As if all data centers are the same? Why does the media continue to force this inane contrivance on us?

Re:Which data center? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44454041)

It means the general concept of a data center.

Cause (1)

eclectro (227083) | about a year ago | (#44453527)

From another article

Ken Brill, founder of the Uptime Institute and a forward thinker in data center design and operations, died this week at the age of 68, the Institute said on Thursday. The cause was cancer, a spokesman said.

True in many things... (3, Insightful)

CptNerd (455084) | about a year ago | (#44454423)

'My prediction is that in the years ahead, we will see more failures than we have been seeing, because people have forgotten what we had to do to get to where we are.'

There are many aspects of our society and world for which this is true, not just data centers.

Re:True in many things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455443)

and it's only going to get worse!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Feeling_of_Power

Again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455467)

First the apple guy, then the mouse dude, now this... who is next?

The windows douchebag?

Midnight Wake UP (1)

unixcorn (120825) | about a year ago | (#44456029)

'My prediction is that in the years ahead, we will see more failures than we have been seeing, because people have forgotten what we had to do to get to where we are.'

As long as data center engineers are at risk of being woken up in the middle of the night, they won't forget how to make sure things stay running.

I'm glad we can give credit for Military standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44457007)

I'm curious as all of the datacenters I see today look a lot like the old ones I used to work in for the military during the cold war for telephones. They had a nuclear rating, emp pulse ratings, and multiple levels of redudancy. Why are we giving someone credit for telling AOL or some other company how to plug in a computer in there?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?