The "Renaissance Hacker" behind AWS data centers


Amazon Web Services has data centers all around the world, and the man in charge of them brings a highly eclectic viewpoint to the job. At one time in his career, James Hamilton, distinguished engineer at AWS, worked as a mechanic with a special focus on Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and now he lives on a boat, reports Robert McMillan at Wired.

Before joining Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) in 2009, Hamilton worked as an architect on Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Data Center Futures team. Both companies keep information about their data centers very close to the vest, McMillan notes, but Hamilton's regular blog posts offer some insights. One way Amazon is trying to reduce data center expenses is by fashioning its own servers.

Hamilton's life reflects an unconfined sensibility.  For about four years, he and his wife have lived on their boat, docking periodically in Seattle, where Hamilton rides his bike to Amazon's main office. At other times, you can find him working from Hawaii.

For more:
-see Robert McMillan's article at Wired

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