Sunday, December 16, 2007

MLB and Orbitz Case Studies

Network World is probably in the top 3 for my favorite magazines and web sites to visit. They really do a good job of capturing the news, but also delivering some good interviews that demonstrate real world use of the technologies they cover. Two particular stories caught my attention recently that I enjoyed:

The first was a story of Major League Baseball Advanced Media -- I visit and frequently. The article interviews Ryan Nelson, director of operations for MLB Advanced Media. MLB uses Joyent services to 'dial-up' and 'dial-down' their use of servers and compute power based on the seasonal load and needs. I had heard of Joyent before, but never really looked into them. It's a pretty cool service, and seeing how uses their service helps solidify the concept. Yes, it's another company jumping on the "cloud computing" bandwagon, but they offer some pretty innovative solutions, coupled with some cool Sun hardware and technologies. I had a brief introduction to Sun virtualization technology at the Blackbox event earlier this year, but if you haven't checked Solaris Zones it is worth a look. MLB has data centers in New York and Chicago, and thanks to the infrastructure they have setup they can move utilization between centers (for upgrades and such) on the fly. It sounds like Ryan Nelson has a pretty cool job playing around with this infrastructure and new technology. Check out this interview/article here

The second article (thanks for the link Ben) from Network World is about travel web site Orbitz. Like everyone else in the industry, Orbitz is trying to go green -- or as CIO Bahman Koohestani put it, "taking his IT operations carbon neutral". One thing that I liked about Orbitz (in this article) is that they know how much energy they use, monitor their use on a daily basis, and they know how much cooling they use for various parts of their operations. Going green is great, but keeping very close tabs on energy use and mining the data is even better (in my opinion). Orbitz has two large data centers in the Chicago area and Koohestani touts it as an excellent place to locate data centers. Chicago is RED hot now days for data centers. Like other stories we have seen about company strategies -- Orbitz is slashing the number of servers used, and consolidating data center operations world wide. The article has all of the details about how they are greening its IT operations.

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