How Facebook flipped the data centre hardware market | The Register

Jack Clark; How Facebook flipped the data centre hardware market; In The Register; 2014-02-20.
Teaser: The first rule of cloud fight club is…

InContext 2014

InContext 2014 by EverythingMe.

On the notion of context and anticipation of needs in & around a device class that has no keyboard and lives with you.


video; 48:47; slides

Benedict Evans, Andreesen Horowitz
Q&A with Benedict Evans faciliated byTim Draper (he plays John Battelle in this vignette)

  • Recites the boring statistics,
    • up-and-to-the-right,
    • explosive growth,
    • gosh it’s really big,
    • <gee whizz!>
  • He compares
    • Yahoo 1996 to App Store 2014; replaced by Google (unstructured search)
    • Web vs Internet; the web is all “the internet does”
    • Mobile is pre-pagerank”
  • What happens in 5 years
    • He doesn’t know
    • Android (in 5 years)
    • Coding languages (in 5 years)
    • iBeacon
    • Access vs owning
  • Strategies
    • Apple: top down the stack (from control of the supply chain)
    • Google: up the stack (from hardware fragmentation)
  • Strategies
    • I know what I want => Google
    • I’m bored => Facebook, BuzzFeed, etc. etc.
    • Demand Generation => empty
  • Smart(phones)
    • Are inherently social
    • Take away “winner take all”
  • Cards as content packages
    • Can be shared
    • Can be syndicated
    • Contradiction:
      • Atomised Content
      • App Silos
  • What’s Already Known
    • Contacts
    • Calendar
    • Apps frequently used
    • Travel patterns
    • etc.
  • Context
    • Google Now
    • or other similar things
  • But
    • The Filter Bubble
    • The Uncanny Valley
  • Something about ‘Ecosystem Cohorts’
  • Neither Apple nor Google “will win”; ther is no “winner take all” dynamic.


  • Some generalized whining
    • that intent and preference prediction won’t work;
      story about Pandora from Tim Draper.
    • that Google Now is ‘closed’ to (his) startups.
  • Unclear that a human butler (ahem, “life coach”) could live achive these standards.
  • Something about the music industry
    • It’s a distribution business
    • A quote from Mic Jagger about musicians not being paid 1970s-1995, not before, not after.
  • Draper on tablet vs PC
    • Tablet is for reading (&deleting)
    • PC is for creating

Bytes of Context

video; 25:42

  • Andreas Gal, Mozilla,
  • Andy Grignon, Quake Labs/Eightly, moderator
  • Andy Hickl, A.R.O,
  • G D Ramkumar, Swell.
  • Dave Smiddy, Alohar.

Global Context

video; 28:27

  • Josh Constine, TechCrunch, moderator
  • Brendan Eich from Mozilla,
  • Seth Sternberg from Google,
  • Ami Ben David from EverythingMe.

Mozilla Product Announcement

video; 29:52

  • Ami Ben David, Co-founder and Head of Strategy and Marketing at EverythingMe,
  • Andreas Gal, VP Mobile at Mozilla.

Firefox Launcher for Android by Mozilla

Wearables in Context

video; 33:08

  • Peter Berger, People+,
  • Christina Farr, VentureBeat,
  • Monisha Perkash, LUMO,
  • Rackspace’s Robert Scoble, moderator
  • Redg Snodgrass, Wearable World.

Via: backfill




  • Based on Google’s ChromeOS
  • Reconfigured for the server
  • Built with/on/around Docker of dotCloud
  • Was Core Boot


  • Alex Polvi
  • Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Foundation
    • advisor
  • Michael Marineau, Google
  • Brandon Philips
  • Lew Moorman
    • funding
    • Rackspace president and board member


  • Somehow CoreOS “is optimized for” Docker (or something like that)


  • Cade Metz; Linux Hackers Rebuild Internet From Silicon Valley Garage; In Wired; 2013-08-21.

    • analogic syllogism of “the garage”
      • Hewlett-Packard was developed in a garage
      • Hewlett-Packard became great
      • CoreOS is developed in a Palo Alto garage.
    • Adam Jacob
      • quoted for color
      • co-founder, OpsCode, products: Chef, Puppet
  • Cade Metz; The Chef, the Puppet, and the Sexy IT Admin; In Wired; 2011-10-26.

    • See DevOps
    • CoreOS is somehow suited to a DevOps world vision; CoreOS uses Docker; of which Chef & Puppet are exemplars, or something like that.
  • Cade Metz; Chromebook: ‘Father of Google Apps’ Raises Second Child; In Wired; 2011-10-07.

    • Throat clearing with a story: John Wilkes leaves HP, joines Google; Google is Very Big.
    • Google
      • Borg
      • Omega
        • John Wilkes; Omega; At Google Faculty Summit, on YouTube; 2011-07-21; 30:36
      • Charles Reiss
        • Intern of John Wilkes
        • Quoted for color & veracity
    • Mesos
      • now at Apache
      • History
        • origin at University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Computer Science Department
          • Ben Hindman, founder, Twitter, ex UCB.
          • Andy Konwinski
          • Matei Zaharia
        • developed further at Twitter
          • John Sirois
          • Travis Crawford
          • Bill Farner
      • Reference Customers
        • AirBNB
        • Conviva
    • (Oracle) Sun Grid Engine