Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Miachel Manos Interview

When I learned that the keynote I will be seeing (tomorrow) was Michael Manos, Director of data center services at Microsoft, I wanted to get a little background on him. He obviously has some large responsibilities with the aggressive growth plans Microsoft has for data centers in coming years. I ran across a podcast on Run as Radio where they interviewed Michael recently and he had some very good insights. I'm anxious to hear him tomorrow at Data Center World.

Here are some notes I took (on the airplane trip to Vegas!) on the interview:
  • Microsoft site selection: they mapped out the world using 35 factors. Some of these include the power makeup, power capacity, IT personnel availablility, and the availability of fiber in the area.
  • Why Quincy, WA?
  • -- Quincy had invested money in infrastructure (fiber) and was a cross-continental fiber connectivity point.
  • -- Nice community college with the right set of courses/curicculum; most Quincy Microsoft employees are local to that area (originally)
  • -- 400 electricians onsite during construction
  • -- Ongoing facility support : they provide 50 data center jobs in area
  • -- Property tax bills reduced $200 per person as a result of them being in Quincy.
  • Michael's job when coming to Microsoft: Apply Moore's law to their data centers and to focus on PUE and truely analyze /optimize off of that
  • There is an ever increasing density per rack-- 8-12 kW range seen
  • it can be a function of the space you have to work in.
  • space between rack rows is getting further out (where cost of space is not high)
  • Is there a trend toward cooler running gear? Definately
  • In Ireland they use air side economization technologies.
  • At the end of the day - it's all about efficiency.
  • Small gains applied over the years results in large power bill savings.
  • What is happening to 'old' Microsoft Data Centers?
  • -- They have same problems other companies face with their old facilities
  • -- They widen rows, redistribute cooling elements ; tweak efficiency design.
  • -- Old data center managers - they are tasked with defining 'how' they are providing efficiency in their facility. These managers are measured on these efficiencies.
  • Transactions per watt ; pretty deep metric for Microsoft to use.Everything is normalized against power (for measuring/reporting): everything is focused on 'power'
  • A primary metric is cost/kW/month
  • "Revolution through evolution" (Regarding data center facility strategies)
  • Steve Balmer announced data center best practices recently at CeBit

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