Ken Brill, datacentre visionary and founder of Uptime Institute passes away

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Ken Brill, datacentre visionary and founder of Uptime Institute passes away

Archana Venkatraman

Kenneth Brill, the datacentre innovator and founder of Uptime Institute, a consortium of companies devoted to improving energy efficiency and uptime in datacentres has passed away.

Often referred to as the “father of the datacentre industry", Brill’s original concepts have underpinned many datacentre industry innovations over the past 25 years.

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They include dual power – the industry's tier system for evaluating and classifying datacentre facility performance – and IT/facility energy efficiency and productivity measurement.

“His innovations are so fundamental to the progression of the datacentre 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," said Julian Kudritzki, COO of Uptime Institute.

Brill was the Founder of the Uptime Institute and the Site Uptime Network. He founded the consortium in 1993 which went on to become the global datacentre authority for its tier standards. The institute provides certifications for datacentres on the basis of a four-tiered scale, with Tier 4 being the most robust facility.

His research into the economic meltdown of Moore’s Law, datacentre productivity and energy efficiency and IT's declining economics form core knowledge to be taken into account by CIOs charged with business performance, profitability and sustainability.

"Ken Brill was a rare and special man," said Martin McCarthy, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the 451 Group, the research firm that acquired the Uptime Institute. 

"Part visionary thinker, part ruthless pragmatist, he was an iconoclast and innovator, and a man of great integrity and passion.

“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,” McCarthy added.

“He is legitimately known around the world as the 'father of the datacentre industry’.”

Brill held an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Redlands and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He also received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Redlands.

He received lifetime achievement awards from 7x24 Exchange International and Datacenter Dynamics.

"Ken Brill was inspired in his thinking and resolute in his principles," Kudritzki added. "As a personality and an innovator, he left an indelible imprint on the IT and datacentre industry.

Brill passed away earlier this week [Tuesday] at the age of 68 because of cancer.

Many datacentre professionals took to social network Twitter to mourn Brill’s death and paid tribute to the “datacentre visionary”.

“I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Ken Brill for a short time. He had an infectious enthusiasm for the industry and passion,” said William Fellows, research vice-president at 451 Research.


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