Tom Barton

President and CEO, Rackable Systems

High Order Bit
11 minutes, 5.3mb, recorded 2005-10-06
Tom Barton

Rackable Systems built some of Google's first servers and stands out as a rare example of a recent hardware IPO. The company now provides X86 servers, storage platforms, and services to some of the best known companies. Barton shares an amazing accounting of the hardware, space and energy costs involved in running and cooling the millions of servers under the skin of the web. Data centers are expensive to build and operate, and a large internet company's energy bill can approach that of a small city.

Maximizing the computing power per square foot becomes the key to delivering the hardware support companies need. Barton predicts these trends will continue as we move toward more and more internet-style computing. As phones, travel, and multimedia services move on-line, web facing storage will become as important as web facing servers. Price, performance, and watts are now the metrics that companies must watch in order to build and maintain a scalable internet infrastructure.

Tom Barton brings extensive operational, leadership, and technical expertise to Rackable Systems. He previously served as SVP of Client Services at Red Hat, where he held P&L responsibility for two-thirds of the company's revenue streams. Barton joined Red Hat via its acquisition of Cygnus Solutions - the leader in open source development tools - where he held many roles, including Interim CEO. He holds an M.B.A., B.S., and B.A. from Stanford University.


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