Jon Koomey on Remembering Upsite Founder Ken Brill7 min read

by | Sep 18, 2013 | Blog

The following post originally appeared on Jonathan G. Koomey’s Blog

My dear friend Ken Brill passed away on July 30th, and a few of his colleagues and I gathered with Ken’s family in Maine on August 17th of this year to celebrate his life. I’ve posted below links to the text of the eulogies given by me, Martin McCarthy of 451, and John T. Thornell of Upsite Technologies, and the homily by Rev. Timothy Boggs, so that people who weren’t able to attend the ceremony can read what we said, reflect on those thoughts, and add additional comments if they want.“What makes a great man?”, by Jonathan Koomey

“Eulogy for Ken Brill”, by Martin McCarthy

“In Honor of Ken Brill”, by John T. Thornell

Homily in Celebration and Thanksgiving for the Life of Ken Brill”, by Rev. Timothy A. Boggs

I’ve also posted the “Core Values” document that Ken shared with all of his employees during the twelve years I’ve known him. This document captures some of what made Ken special, and it’s worth a read.

Martin McCarthy ended his eulogy with a quote from Ken that sums it up perfectly: “‘Drop the boulder. Grab the balloon.’ Let’s all grab a balloon for Ken.”

In talking with Jim Glanz, a reporter at the New York Times who wrote about data centers, I learned a few weeks ago that Ken had been especially proud of the video he and Jim did walking through a data center, with Ken explaining things as they walked. It was created to accompany a long article Jim did that got lots of attention. But Ken was much more interested in how many people had watched the video. I post the link here, so more people can watch it!

Obituaries and Tributes for Ken Brill

There was an outpouring of discussion upon Ken’s passing, and I’ve collected some of the key links below. Please let me know if I’ve missed any important ones.

Portland Press Herald: Obituary for Ken Brill

Uptime Institute: Uptime Institute Grieves the Passing of Founder Ken Brill

Upsite Technologies Mourns the Passing of its Founder, Kenneth Brill, and Celebrates His Many Contributions to the Data Center Industry

The Register: Ken Brill, ‘the father of data centers’, powers down at 69

PC World: Data center innovator Ken Brill dies at 68

Computerworld: Ken Brill, the man who defined the data center, dies

eWeek: Ken Brill, Data Center Pioneer, dies at 69

The 7×24 Network’s tribute to Ken Brill

Lars Strong

Lars Strong

Senior Engineer


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