One to Watch: Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki

Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki

I am one of Guy Kawasaki’s loyal fans that Bob Sutton mentions in the first paragraph of his review of Kawasaki’s brilliant new book, “Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition“.

If you love Guy’s smarts and irreverent charm, you’ve got to read this book. If you have never read his blog or books — or seen him speak — this is the place to start if you want to understand why Guy has such a huge and loyal army of fans. Guy has had a lot of different careers, including at Apple as an evangelist, a venture capitalist, the master of ceremonies at wildly popular entrepreneurship Boot Camps during the boom, and now on his blog “How to Change the World.” And now you can get the best of his experience and gentle wackiness all in one place.

Last week, I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of his new book, Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition. I started glancing through it, and instantly, I was hooked and — even though I was supposed to be doing other things — I read it from start to finish. This isn’t a clean linear business book, although the chapters are organized around themes like starting, raising money, innovating, communicating, hiring and firing, working and so on. It is a collection of the best stuff from Guy’s blog and other places, with editing and tweaking. And even if you are rabid reader of the blog, you will want to own a copy of this book.

You can read the rest of the review at Bob’s site: Bob Sutton: Reality Check: Guy Kawasaki’s Magical New Book

Intel: Servers Do Fine With Outside Air

This might come as a shock, but one of the biggest expenses in Data Center operations – air conditioning – responsible for up to 50% of all power requirements, might be based on a myth:

Do servers really need a cool, sterile environment to be reliable? New research from Intel suggests that in favorable climates, servers may perform well with almost no management of the environment, creating huge savings in power and cooling with negligible equipment failure.

Intel’s findings are detailed in a new white paper reviewing a proof-of-concept using outside air to cool servers in the data center – a technique known as air-side economization. Intel conducted a 10-month test to evaluate the impact of using only outside air to cool a high-density data center, even as temperatures ranged between 64 and 92 degrees and the servers were covered with dust.

Intel’s result: “We observed no consistent increase in server failure rates as a result of the greater variation in temperature and humidity, and the decrease in air quality,” Intel’s Don Atwood and John Miner write in their white paper. “This suggests that existing assumption

[From Intel: Servers Do Fine With Outside Air « Data Center Knowledge]

It will be very interesting to see what Steve O’Donnell at The Hot Aisle says about this.

Computer Scientists Propose New Way to Build Datacenters

Interesting developments in the Data Center design. Data Centers and their efficiency – data and electrical – are rapidly coming to be the number on priority for IT design specialists:

Typically, computers are connected by a network architecture that consists of a “tree” of routing and switching elements regulated by specialized equipment, with expensive, non-commodity switches at the top of the hierarchy. But even with the highest-end IP switches and routers, the networks can only support a small fraction of the combined bandwidth available to end hosts. This limits the overall cluster size, while still incurring considerable costs. Application design is further complicated by non-uniform bandwidth among datacenter nodes, which limits overall system performance.

The UC San Diego researchers’ envision creating a datacenter that will have scalable interconnection bandwidth, making it possible for an arbitrary host in the datacenter to communicate with any other host in the network at the full bandwidth of its local network interface. Their approach requires no modifications to the end-host network interface, operating system or applications, and is fully backward compatible with Ethernet, IP and TCP. Ideally, the datacenter would also use inexpensive, off-the-shelf Ethernet switches as the basis for large-scale datacenter networks, thereby replacing high-end switches in much the way that commodity personal computers have displaced supercomputers for high-end computing environments.

[From HPCwire: Computer Scientists Propose New Way to Build Datacenters]