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Fresh Thinking on IT Operations for 100,000 Industry Executives

About Steve O’Donnell

Technology CEO

Steve O’Donnell is CTO at Amlin (Lloyds of London Underwriter) and an analyst, advisor and consultant in the technology space. He was Chairman and CEO at GreenBytes (acquired by Oracle) a Providence RI based manufacturer of cloud scale Virtual Desktop appliances.  He was a member of the Advisory Board for Salt Lake City Utah based Fusion-io (FIO) a maker of Solid State PCI based storage systems, he currently chairs both the advisory board for Mountain View California-based Violin Memory (VMEM) a maker of solid state storage controllers and the advisory board for Folsom CA based Rackwise a software vendor in the Data Centre Infrastructure Management area.  He is a founder at Chalet Tech a Taipei based Database Security business and Chairman at Preventia a UK-based Security systems reseller and at Lanix a UK-based Managed Services vendor. He is the author of What Every CIO Wants – A guide for global technology salespeople and the original inspiration behind the Green Grid Data Center Maturity Model.

He has over 30 years IT experience and is globally recognised as a specialist in Storage, Data Centers and Sustainability.

He has significant experience in the Banking and Telecommunications industries as well as in Oil & Gas and Insurance. He is an inventor and holds a number of patents in the data center cooling area. Steve is an entrepreneur, a businessman, with a deep understanding of how to drive performance and efficiency in the organisations he manages.

Steve was CEO at MEEZA, a major data centre and cloud services company based in Doha Qatar and serving the MENA region. MEZZA is a joint venture-backed by the Qatar Foundation and based in the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).  MEEZA offers advanced and innovative services to business clients underpinning Qatar’s stated objective to make the knowledge based society a reality in the region.

Prior to MEEZA Steve was Managing Director EMEA and Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) he specialised in Data Centre Power & Cooling, Data Centre Strategy and Best Practices (planning, consolidation and migration), IT Service Management, Data Centre Automation and Server Hardware and Architectures (blades, server virtualization, cloud computing infrastructure & services).

Prior to ESG Steve ran IT Infrastructure Internationally for First Data Corporation (FDC), the largest global credit, debit, gift and prepay card processing company in the world. He was Global Head of Data Centres at BT running the largest data centre estate and the biggest IT Operation in Europe. He has a worldwide reputation as a thought leader in Green IT having won six industry awards for his 21st Century Data Centre vision and design. He has developed a framework for categorizing Data Centre Efficiency, leveraging the maturity model ideas from CMM.

O’Donnell became the first non manufacturer and first European based contributing member of The Green Grid when he took BT into membership. He is a professional member of the IEEE, the IET and the British Computer Society.

In this blog he shares his ofttimes controversial and always personal view about what a modern Data Center and IT Operation should look like and how to ride the perfect storm of being green and cost-effective at the same time.

“There are some basics that just need to be done to keep a data centre efficient and as green as possible.”

O’Donnell contends that the 20th Century Data Centre is dead and that modern joined up thinking has enabled the creation of a 21st Century Data Centre that uses significantly less energy than its 20th Century counterpart. Refrigeration, humidification, inefficient power protection and low equipment utilization are wasteful and unnecessary. Huge capital demands to build out new sites are unsustainable and equipment manufacturers need to wake up and smell the coffee by designing for free and fresh air cooling and DC power.

“With this dramatic cost advantage old inefficient sites will be forced to close. Global organizations are starting to wake up to the need to be dramatically more efficient in their use of power.”

O’Donnell believes that conventional IT Operations management is flawed and focussed on managing a static environment whist actually IT systems, applications and infrastructure are in a constant state of flux and change. His ideas on a Continuous Migration Architecture (CMA) and Cloud Maturity Model are published on this site.

As well as holding senior positions at First Data and BT pic, he served at Cable & Wireless, Lehman Brothers, and Deutsche Bank. Steve has run a number of IT Consulting firms where for example he led the UK merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand to form PWC.

“Green is just common sense; energy is not free (and the laws of supply and demand mean the more we use the more it costs per unit) so why waste it? I remember my Father being green decades ago because he hated wasting his hard-earned cash on unnecessary bills!”

O’Donnell has industry recognized Green credentials – as the winner of six industry awards for green data centre projects.

View Steve O'Donnell's profile on LinkedIn

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