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Microsoft Hires Key Yahoo Data Center Executive

Microsoft this week continued its recent trend of wooing away top talent from Yahoo by appointing a key data center executive to assist in its online services capacity buildout.

Data Center

At Yahoo, Timmons led the buildout of Yahoo's data center strategy and has a reputation for placing great importance on the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) metric, said Arne Josefsberg, general manager of infrastructure services in Microsoft's Global Foundation Services division, in a Monday blog post.

PUE is a metric for energy efficiency that divides the total amount of power a data center uses by the amount of power consumed by the IT infrastructure within it, with lower numbers indicating better efficiency. Companies often cite PUE figures as evidence of the progress they're making in trimming data center power consumption, and PUE has become another front in the battle between Microsoft and Google for online services supremacy.

Microsoft is in the midst of a massive data center construction campaign that involves packing servers, power and cooling gear into shipping containers in order to maximize energy efficiency and computing capacity. Microsoft's goal is to beef up its online service delivery capabilities, and it's building massive data centers in places like San Antonio, Chicago and Dublin, Ireland, to achieve this.

Microsoft is also carefully choosing the sites for these data center projects to maximize their efficiency, and Timmons brings experience in this regard, according to Josefsberg.

Microsoft last month restructured its Infrastructure Services team within GFS around five teams: Shared Infrastructure, Programmable Infrastructure, Platform Hardware and Standards, Global Network Services and the Data Center Services team that Timmons now heads up.

"These changes will help us align our teams with Microsoft's evolving cloud computing business and position our infrastructure for the upcoming year and beyond," Josefsberg said in the blog post.

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