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Monday, 05 August 2013 08:11

A Brill life, an untimely death

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Ken Brill, founder of the Uptime Institute, has died of cancer at the age of 68.

The Uptime Institute developed the Tier system of data centre classification (Brill’s own work) and is a leading voice in data centre energy efficiency.

"Ken Brill was a rare and special man," said Martin McCarthy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The 451 Group, which owns the Uptime Institute. "Part visionary thinker, part ruthless pragmatist, he was an iconoclast and innovator, and a man of great integrity and passion. He is legitimately known around the world as ‘The Father of the Data Centre Industry’.

“On behalf of our firm, the clients that Ken devoted his life to serving, and the overall global IT industry, we collectively mourn his passing, and express our condolences to his family and intimates. We will all deeply miss this brilliant and bristly individual."

Brill was the Founder of the Uptime Institute and the Site Uptime Network. Many data centre industry innovations over the past 25 years are underpinned by his original concepts, including dual power, the industry's Tier system for evaluating and classifying data centre facility performance, and IT facility energy efficiency and productivity measurement.

Brill's research into the validity of Moore’s Law, data centre productivity and energy efficiency, and IT economics, have become core knowledge for IT and corporate leaders charged with business performance, profitability and sustainability.

"Ken Brill was inspired in his thinking, and resolute in his principles," said Julian Kudritzki, COO of Uptime Institute. "As a personality and an innovator, he left an indelible imprint on the IT and data centre industry. His innovations are so fundamental to the progression of the industry over time that it is difficult to believe they can be traced back to the energy and passion of a single man. With Ken's passing, the industry mourns a ferocious critic and committed agent of change."

Ken Brill received Lifetime Achievement Awards from 7x24 Exchange International and Datacenter Dynamics. He held an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Redlands, a private liberal arts college in California, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He also received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Redlands.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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