Lawyer Bait

The views expressed herein solely represent the author’s personal views and opinions and not of anyone else - person or organization.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Continuous Uptime vs. any other number

I was asked last week what the continuous uptime was of my data center. I knew generally, but did some digging and some math and learned that it was 125,000 + hours of continuous uptime.

What really got me though was how little time and effort and coverage there was on the number. It got me thinking - with all of the coverage and articles and studies on efficiency, why the lack of focus on the only thing that matters when the shit hits the fan? Do you really think that in the middle of an outage that companies are freaking out over how awesome their PUE is? Me neither.

So I did a blog post  related to this which was the fact that we already have the ultimate yardstick when measuring our data center spend and the stuff that goes into it - cash. We can easily see if something is more or less than something else, and decide if we want to spend more or less, buy on value vs. price, etc.

So why is there so little time spent on what the uptime number is?

Well, if yours sucks, you want to be looking at other measurements that paint you in the most positive light, duh. My other hunch is that PUE (as a widely discussed example) is one of those nebulous numbers that is open to debate on how you measure it, and keeps the dust in the air so you don't see the only thing that matters - Uptime.

Why do I say it's the only thing that matters?

Because it is the bedrock on which SLA's are written. I was chairing a panel at a BisNow event in Virginia and I asked a question to the panel - What is the one thing you want to tell vendors in the audience today? - Mike Manos from AOL had the best response - 'Vendors, do not hand me an SLA that says 100% uptime with maintenance windows in it. 100% is either 100% or it's not.'

So let's focus on uptime because it's as easy to use a measurement tool as cash and can be used for applications, hardware, and the data center itself.

Who's with me?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Greenpeace is Throwing Rocks again

I was on Data Center Knowledge this morning reading about Greenpeace putting Apple's new data center in their crosshairs for not being Green enough. Isn't this Facebook all over again? Based on the data I have seen, it sure smells like it.

Can someone please point me to an energy product and a company that Greenpeace actually endorses? This rock throwing and shit stirring is old. I would love to see how many people use iPads at Greenpeace vs. charcoal on birchbark from fallen birch trees to read, write and comment on stories they post online.

It's easy to throw rocks and shir the shit pot, but not so easy to develop, test, market, and put your brand on a product or set of products that people want to use. To hide behind the fact that making things is not your business and provide no solution is another version of a whiny child, not a business. And therein lies the rub - Apple is a business. They have Shareholders - Greenpeace is an activist organization and has supporters. Shareholders use their money to give to a company to increase the value of the shares they own by making something useful. Greenpeace doesn't worry about having a bad quarter. Apple does. Greenpeace's currency is emotion, Apple's is cash.

So while Greenpeace has a vested interest in stirring up shit to create emotionally charged situations (that's how they make more 'currency' and stay relevant) Apple has a responsibility to make more money and if they care to engage in emotionally charged debates, they exchange their currency (money) for Greenpeace's (emotion). Since most people don't pay bills with emotion, it's a slippery slope for Apple to engage in currency speculation in these situations in my opinion.

I hope Apple points this out - that they are a business - not an emotion based activist organization, and have a responsibility to their shareholders. Period. And from what I can tell based on their cash position, they are being very responsible to their shareholders. As for building a data center that isn't green? Until there is a source of energy generation developed (by Greenpeace or someone else) that can produce an equivalent unit of power that burning coal does, or change the regulations in the United States to foster the research and development  for said source, go back to your birchbark and charcoal.

And one more thing... How many Apple shareholders rely on Greenpeace for their retirement?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Is a cloud OS really the answer?

I was just reading Phil Windley's latest blog entry introducing the concept of a Cloud OS. As I wrote my feedback I had an A-HA moment (no I did not start humming Take on Me) I realized that a Cloud OS may be the term but it's more of a new kind of OS - one that recognizes the user as the one unique ID, and the data, accounts, functionality, and devices important to the user are attributes and by design all the things important to the user go with the user - independent of OS, device, and application(s).

Once this was in place - users could simplify their experience around 'personas'. For instance I have a work email account and several personal ones that are tied to my blogs, interest groups, different geographies, and interests. These personas all are part of me the user, but occupy different meaning and use in my day to day life. They can be accessed on my phone, tablet, laptop, or other device. It's like Circles on Google+ only less integrated to one vendor.

That to me is the way to go - develop a single Veneer to which me - one user - can configure what I want based on my persona. Different privacy levels and chinese walls so my political views don't cross into my professional life where they have little importance or information about my health or marital status isn't broadcast to my marketing database or Facebook account. In other words I am Me. Online. Offline. Device independent. And can prove it with more than a mother's maiden name and PIN - quickly and beyond a shadow of a doubt and tell you who the girl was who kicked me in the balls at my second baseball practice in 3rd grade as my security question.