Crocodile in the Yangtze – How Jack Ma Built Alibaba From Nothing

Real life stories about famous people like Steve Jobs are inspiring.  In China, Jack Ma’s real life story is too also inspiring.  Nobody knows what will the future hold for Jack Ma, but it’s already truly inspiring and amazing to see how Jack Ma has built his Alibaba company in his apartment to the size of Alibaba today which has tens of thousands of employees.  I got to know about Jack Ma’s amazing real life story thus far through Crocodile in the Yangtze documentary which was written and directed by Porter Erisman — a man who once worked for Jack Ma’s Alibaba company.  How Jack Ma from nothing built a company that went to war against Ebay, a truly super large company, in his own country, China, to bringing the competition to Ebay’s doorstep in America is definitely not something everyone can just wake up one day and say I can do that too.  So, check out how Jack Ma had done such an amazing feat through the video right after the break.  Enjoy!

RSF Datacenter Wows You With Ingenious Cost Cutting Modern Datacenter Innovations

Energy Smart Data Center

Energy Smart Data Center (Photo credit: EMSL)

Have you ever wondered how it’s possible for Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Ebay, Facebook, and so many other big Internet companies out there to handle so much data and at what costs?  Average Joe like me thinks such behind the scene, almost unseemly unlimited amount of data handling feat is totally awesome.  We don’t see the intensity and the huge costs of planning and money that have to be poured into the handling of so much Internet traffics and data by each big, Internet company each day.  The obvious answer to the question how these major, Internet companies cope with almost unseemly unlimited amount of digital data is their use of the latest and the best datacenters.

Why the use of the latest and the best datacenters matter for these humongous, Internet companies?  Well, it’s obvious that as each passing day, the folks who have to maintain datacenters on regular basis notice the huge costs of maintaining the datacenters, and so they want to rely on the latest and the best datacenters if they can to cut down the ongoing costs of maintaining the datacenters (i.e., it’s profitable in the long run by saving costs now).  Three most expensive and obvious costs for maintaining datacenters are cooling, power, and equipment.

Cooling a datacenter through the airconditioning would be too costly, but this had been done with the old types of datacenters.  The old types of datacenters would also use power inefficiently as these datacenters were not designed to utilize green technology (e.g., solar energy, energy efficient equipments, etc…), thus incrementing the power cost tremendously.  Also, back in the days, datacenter folks did not take virtualization as a serious technology, therefore they missed the chance of cutting power and equipment costs — making them had to use more power hungry servers and power than necessary.

It was an eyeopening for me to see how modern datacenters actually run things, because the modern datacenters are designed to account for the efficiencies of cooling, power, and equipment, consequently cutting down the costs of maintaining the datacenters by lightyear.  It was the RSF Data Center Tour YouTube video below which had me go “wow” on how modern datacenters are designed.  Obviously, the big Internet companies not necessarily have and use the same datacenter blueprint (i.e., design plan) as the RSF Data Center, but RSF Data Center is modern enough to be used as an eyeopening for us all in regarding to how modern datacenters work.

Nonetheless, you might ask “But what is with the datacenter talk?”  Personally, I think by understanding how things actually work at datacenters, I feel that I can appreciate more at how everything works in regarding to all things digital.  I never have thought that datacenters can be operated at less costs but with more efficiency by utilizing virtualization more; it makes me appreciate virtualization even more.