Feeds

Microsoft plucks Yahoo! data center efficiency expert

Powers up GeoCities veteran

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.