The May 2015 IFMA Tulsa meeting speaker was Mike Edwards with Google. Mike is the Campus Facility Manager at Google’s Pryor Creek Oklahoma location. He oversees the 24 x 7 facility maintenance and operations supporting that site.
Mike joined Google in 2008 as a Data Center Program Manager working with the (then very small team) of Google operations staff in developing a program to support Google’s aggressive program to bring online multiple Google data centers in U.S. and EU. Later in 2008 he moved into a Facility Manager role at the Pryor Creek location which at the time consisted of one data center building. Since that time the site has grown into a multiple data center building and support building campus with Mike as the Sr. Facility (Campus) Manager.
Previous to his work at Google, Mike has 30 years of data-center related experience with
companies including IBM, Grubb and Ellis Management Systems, and Sears. In addition, he
founded, owned and operated Mission Critical Facility Operations LLC as a consulting firm
specializing in Datacenter Facility Operations.
Mike’s presentation centered around a bit of history about Google and why Pryor Creek was selected as a site for a data center. The first thing Mike discussed was the origin of the name. The initial search engine was called “BackRub,” named for its analysis of the web’s “back links.” At a later brainstorming meeting, the two creators of the site, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were looking to change the name to something that reflected the indexing of an immense amount of data. The names “googolplex” and then the shortened “googol” were suggested (both words refer to specific large amounts). They decided to search to see if that domain name was available, accidently typing in Google instead of Googol. Google was available and they liked it, so “Google” was born. Note: 1 googol = 1.0 x 10100.
Google’s motto is “Don’t Be Evil.” They have ten things to believe in which they “Know to be true.” Those are:
• Focus on the user and all else will follow.
• It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
• Fast is better than slow.
• Democracy on the web works.
• You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
• You can make money without doing evil.
• There’s always more information out there.
• The need for information crosses all borders.
• You can be serious without a suit.
• Great just isn’t good enough.
So why Pryor Creek, Oklahoma for a data center operation? One reason was the utility infrastructure. Another was power. Another was water. Another consideration was the available workforce for a data center operation.
What does a Google data center look like? Lots and lots of racks, more racks and servers. Mike’s job is to make sure all those racks and servers keep operating. One big key to that is making sure that the proper temperature is always maintained. Another key is making sure the facility is secure. Google provides this with fencing, guarded entrances, biometrics, cameras, security guards and storm troopers (yes, he said storm troopers).
Mike also shared some interesting statistics about technology today. There are 1.8 devices per person being used around the world. Per minute, 72 hours of YouTube videos are watched, 47K android apps are downloaded, 1300 new phones are activated, 200+M emails are sent and there are 4M+ Google search queries.
Many thanks to Mike for traveling to Tulsa to tell us about the Google plant. The IFMA Tulsa May 2015 meeting was the largest attended meeting in the history of the chapter. There was a total of 66 attendees, breaking the previous record of 59 attendees at a chapter Christmas party.