Just like the NASA Stereo-B Probe…

On August 23rd 2016, NASA announced that its DSN (Deep Space Network) had re-established connection with the Stereo-B probe whose joint mission (with its counterpart probe Stereo-A) was to orbit the sun.  The purpose of the twin probes managed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland was to use the two probes to see the entire star. Not just the side facing our planet, but the other side as well.  The folks lost communication with the probe, but never gave up.  Two years later (just a few days ago in fact) they were able to re-connect to the silent space adventurer and the team is hard at work trying to get things back into working order.

How does that have anything to do with the LooseBolts blog you ask?  There are some interesting corollaries to our prodigal space mission and my ramblings here on Loosebolts.   The obvious one of course is that its been about two years since my last post.   I didn’t time it that way but it is kind of spooky.   Similarly just as Stereo-B had its counterpart in the Stereo-A mission, its not like I have been really silent as I have been maintaining a blog internally to my work at First Data.  That internal blog has been blasting out all kinds of interesting, pithy, technical, optimistic, critical, business-relevant, and some non-business-relevant posts throughout the entirety of the time.

My internal blog is called Random Thoughts.  The dual blog system (one focused internally and the other focused externally) is a mechanism I have used for a very long time throughout my career.  Like our twin solar satellites, Random Thoughts has been buzzing away on the far side of the sun accomplishing its half of the mission.   Loosebolts however, had to take a backseat until I could get some of my house in order. 

To be honest my ‘Random Thoughts’ are not really all that random and are almost exclusively focused primarily on the work at hand inside the firm.  In my opinion Communication is the number one factor whether you will have an effective organization.  This importance is magnified 1000 times if you are actively engaged in the turn-around of the business.    Communication defines expectations. Communication defines concerns.  Communication defines Priority and Importance.  Communication defines direction.  Most importantly – Communications defines culture. 

This last bit is incredibly important when engaging in re-inventing a company which essentially defined the first and second generations of an industry. A company that has been in operation almost 40 years and whose next evolution maintains as a basic precept that technology will be a defining factor in its paradigm shift. The target of so many disrupters trying to out disrupt itself and everyone else at the same time.  A company that has scale beyond any other in the #Fintech space in terms of reach but one that also has to contend with significant legacy technology decisions. 

Communications are in full effect. In addition to the internal blog, I also send out a personal note to the entire technology organization summarizing the work accomplished and challenges discovered each week every Friday.  We have even deployed our own internal Global Technology TV Station focused around our execution.

On the Technology side, we have been hard at work doing some incredibly cool things. Things you cannot do without scale to start.   Problems, opportunities, and a vantage point really unimaginable for most.  Of course it will all be about execution. The execution (both looking ahead and looking behind) is well underway. 

While I have personally participated in some very large turn-around’s and technology strategy shifts before – the learnings and challenges here have truly changed my perspective across a number of areas.  The strange result of dropping an Internet minded technologist in the middle of Financial Services with the executive support required to make the change.  I hope to share many of these with you here again on Loosebolts.  We are getting ready for some interesting transitions and revelations. 

Communication initiated to Loosebolts blog….

Connection Established.

Sending queued messages…. 


Its called the new job lag….

It has been a bit more than 2 months since I made a post on my beloved Loosebolts blog.  To my active and loyal readers, a sincere apology from me personally.   As many of you know I recently took a new role with Nokia running their global service operations.   Its been an amazing experience and there are a lot of really great things going on there that I am sure will come to light in the weeks and months to come.   Unfortunately, for a new person coming in, there is a lot of stuff to do.  Learn the company, learn the culture, learn your organization, figure out what is right, figure out what you might want to improve upon, and generally start over.   I am now starting to come up for air and have more time to reflect on many of the things I see in the industry at large and get back to being my normal ornery self. 

To prove it I posted a link to some of my data center patents in the ABOUT Page here on the site. There are a few more going through the process right now but adding a link shows intent doesn’t it?  🙂

Looking forward to re-engaging…



Must Have Swag…..

I try not to post much business related stuff (ala Digital Realty Trust) on Loosebolts as its my own place to rant and rave.   To be clear-none of the things I say on here represent the views of the company what-so-ever.   But sometimes, there are a things that come along that really make me smile and I have to comment on them.

As you know I am huge fan of modularization in the data center.  Modularization in construction, modularization in operation, modularization is just all-around goodness from a technical perspective through the business side of things.   That’s why the newest marketing campaign from Digital has me smiling ear to ear.  image   The new Data Center Construction kit brings back memories from when I was a kid and built giant structures for my little people to generally live, die, and party in.    It was of course a modular approach that led to endless hours of fun and imagination.   Applying these fond remembrances of youth and combining it with both the modular data center movement, and general fun will make this the MUST-HAVE piece of swag in the industry.   Data Center Knowledge posted a video about the toys a few weeks ago.    I can definitely tell you it will lead to hours of fun and wasted time at work putting it together.   I should know, my completed “data center” sits proudly in my office! 

After all we are all just kids at heart, aren’t we?


The Data Center Blogs I Read

Every once in a while I like to post up the latest data center blogs and news sources that I follow on a daily basis.   I have never really gotten into the “blog reader that looks like email” paradigm, probably because it reminds me too much of work.  Like you, I get a ton of email every day, and getting even more of them, well it just sucks all the fun away of what  is happening out there.  I grew up using the traditional portal interface as my home page to get my news and the Live RSS Reader (my.live.com) best emulates that experience plus it never feels like work. I have attached a screenshot below and included a link to directly add my list to your “My Live” view here.


For those of you with no interest of adding yet another tool to your daily use, I have listed them below for your convenience:

Data Center Knowledge

Data Center Dynamics

Data Center Journal Superfeed

Data Center Facilities Pro

Dave Ohara’s Green Data Center Blog


ServerTech Blog

MS Data Centers Blog

James Hamilton’s Perspectives

John Rath’s Data Center Links

The Raised Floor

Lewis Curtis’ Thoughts from the Raised Floor

Cisco’s Data Center Networks

The Iowa TechHermits – Digital Cave

ComputerWorld’s- Mike Halligan – Data Center Junkie

Burton Groups – Data Center Strategies

Groves Green IT

Data Center Design

Nicholas Carr’s Rough Type


Arthur Cole

Greg Lindens’ – Geeking with Greg

If you know of any other sites that you think I should be looking at please feel free to drop me a note or a comment.  I am always looking for more great sources…

Happy Reading!



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