Feeds

Microsoft plucks Yahoo! data center efficiency expert

Powers up GeoCities veteran

Reducing security risks from open source software

Microsoft has hired a Yahoo! data center veteran to help build an energy efficient infrastructure beneath its planned cloud and online services.

The company said Monday that Yahoo! vice president of operations Kevin Timmons has joined its Global Foundation Services operation where he'll head up the recently-created data center services unit.

Timmons is a 13-year veteran of Yahoo! who served for three years as director of operations for the recently deleted GeoCities, before ascending to the position of vice president of operations. In that role, Timmons helped build the massive server infrastructure that powers Yahoo!'s search, hosting, and adverting services.

He's the latest Yahoo! executive to be lured by Microsoft. He joins, among others, former executive vice president of engineering at Yahoo's search and advertising technology, Qi Lu. Lu now runs Microsoft's loss-making internet search and advertising business.

Earlier this year, Microsoft pulled in Yahoo! vice president Larry Heck, who joined the online services division of Microsoft's research and development unit.

This latest hire follows a re-organization of GFS in May. That saw the creation of five teams around shared infrastructure, programmable infrastructure, platform hardware and standards, global network services, and the data center services unit that Timmons will now lead.

Microsoft appears to have brought Timmons on to help in the on-going selection of sites for future data centers and to help ensure the centers' power efficiency.

Arne Josefsberg, Microsoft's general manager of infrastructure services in GFS, blogged of Timmons: "Kevin is known as a hands-on leader with a great grasp on the issues in his field and a keen interest in increasing energy efficiency. One of the key ways he has approached that challenge was by closely measuring efficiency at each data center and using PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) as a key metric - a strategy that helped build more efficient data centers."

The company has begun building modular data centers, essentially vast warehouses with servers packed into shipping containers that are lifted and slotted into place according to demand and connected by cabling running through a skeleton of network ducts.

It's an approach known you might call white-trash computing.

Microsoft's $185 million Chicago, Illinois facility is the poster child and chief software architect Ray Ozzie recently said the company planned data centers in every country. A center is also under construction in Dublin, Ireland, but a West Des Moines, Iowa facility has been put on hold thanks to a $300m cut in data-center spending as part of Microsoft's attempt to reduce costs.

A key feature of these white-trash centers is economic use of power, to help control expenses. The company's devised its own data-center analytics tool called Scry to monitor energy use, carbon emissions, water and refrigerator use, humidity and temperature. Scry monitors servers, groups of servers, and data centers, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft charges data center use back to its business units and has given data center managers the task of running their centers efficiently. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.