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Kenneth Brill

Kenneth Brill

Redlands alumnus Kenneth G. Brill ’66 has had a major impact on data center industry innovations over the last 25 years. Brill, who holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Redlands and an MBA from Harvard Business School, is an internationally recognized authority on data centers and their energy consumption, an important area with many national and international ramifications.

 What is a data center? And how do you make it green?

Data centers are facilities that house computer systems and the associated components, like telecommunications and storage systems, for big companies and organizations. They usually include backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, security devices, and even environmental controls such as air conditioning and fire suppression. Data centers range from one room to an entire building.

And, as you might have guessed, data centers use a lot of energy and electricity. They consume 3% to 4% of U.S. electricity and are still growing.

Brill originated the concept of dual power, which is a tier system used to evaluate and classify data center facility performance. His IT (information technologies), energy efficiency and productivity measurement concepts are the building blocks of the advancement of the data center industry and its efforts to become environmentally friendly.

Brill is the founder and former executive director of the Uptime Institute and the Site Uptime Network, an organization that provides many opportunities and resources for the data center industry and data center professionals. Founded in 1993, the Institute provides educational opportunities, publications, consulting, certifications, conferences and seminars, as well as independent research opportunities, and is comprised of 100 corporate members in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Brill’s research on the economic meltdown of Moore’s Law, data center productivity, data center energy efficiency and IT’s declining economics provide important knowledge for corporate leaders in business performance, profitability and sustainability.

Along with McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that focuses on solving issues of concern to senior management, Brill has created the Corporate Average Data Center Efficiency (CADE) quadrant analysis and the Site Analytics Validate Effectiveness (SAVE) initiatives. These programs radically cut data center operating expenditures, capital expenditures, energy consumption and carbon output in 18 months by benchmarking and controlling IT and facility energy consumption. Brill is currently broadcasting these programs and working to publicize them.

In 2008, Brill was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Datacentre Dynamics in London. and in 2009 he was honored by NetworkWorld as being among the 10 tech people you should know (along with John Chambers of Cisco, Paul Maritz of VMware and Eric Schmidt of Google). Since 2008, he has been an IT columnist for Forbes.com, combining uncommon common-sense ideas with real-life illustrations to help senior executives in his 800 word bi-weekly essays.

The University of Redlands congratulates Kenneth Brill on his achievements. To read more about Brill and his endeavors, refer to his columns in Forbes.


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