Kenneth G. Brill, 68
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CAPE ELIZABETH and SANTA FE, N.M. - Kenneth G. Brill, a visionary innovator in the design of data-center mission-critical computing environments, passed away at the age of 68 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 6, 1944, he was the only child of the late Dorothy (Healy-Glasgow) and Gerald Brill.
Ken graduated from the University of Redlands with a B.S. in Engineering and subsequently from Harvard University with an M.B.A. Until recently, he continued to mentor students at the University of Redlands and served as a model alumnus to business students. He was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Redlands. Earlier this year, Ken was awarded the first-ever 7x24 Exchange Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, the British Computer Society awarded him its prestigious Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award.
Coming on the scene in the early 1980s, just as computing began to increase in importance to business, industry and government, Ken saw that data-center airflow management would become a critical part of maintaining the reliability of large-scale centralized computing facilities.
Described as brilliant, curious, independent and unyielding, Ken worked extensively to promote data center uptime availability, resiliency and IT energy efficiency. Ken distinguished himself as an entrepreneur, having founded and led Atlas Searchlights, Atlas Energy Systems, ComputerSite Engineering, Uninterruptible Uptime Users Group (now known as 7x24 Exchange), Uptime Institute (and its Symposium), Site Uptime Network, and Upsite Technologies.
Ken holds patents tied to the large-scale reduction of energy consumption used for data center storage and is the originator of a number of data-center innovations, such as the industry's widely-adopted Tier Classification system for designing, evaluating, and classifying data-centers based on the business requirement of owners' for assuring uninterrupted continuous computing availability levels. He holds a patent on dual-power topology, a key design element for ensuring continuous uptime availability of data center computing. He has been highlighted and interviewed by the New York Times on data-center energy waste and he wrote a series of over 40 essays published in Forbes magazine's online edition (including 'It's Sputnik Stupid,' one of his favorites).
He is survived by his loving wife, Margot Wygant Brill; a son, Jonathan Brill and his life-partner Rebecca McDonald, and a daughter, Lora Glasgow Brill and her husband Lee Grieveson, with their children, Riley and Lauren. He is also survived by his former wife Sarah Lee; along with many cousins and extended family members.
Ken leaves behind a worldwide network of colleagues and friends. Ken served as an advisor and mentor to many over the years and his influence touched lives both personally and professionally. Ken was a long time resident of Santa Fe, N.M., and also maintained a vacation cottage in his beloved coastal community of Five Islands in Georgetown.
A memorial service will take place in Cape Elizabeth on Aug. 17, at 11 a.m., at St. Albans Episcopal Church. Arrangements are by the Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to:
Chan's Home Health Care
- Hospice Services
60 Baribeau Dr.
Brunswick, Maine 04011
or Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute (MMCCI,
Portland Maine 04102
Kenneth G. Brill
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Aug. 11, 2013