Mike Manos of Loose Bolts writes on Olivier Sanche who passed away from a heart attack this Thanksgiving weekend.
The data center industry has suffered a huge loss this holiday weekend with the passing of Olivier Sanche, head of Apple’s Data Center program. He was an incredibly thoughtful man, a great father and husband, and very sincerely a great friend. As I got off the phone with his brother and wife in France who gave me this devastating news and I could not help but remember my first encounter with Olivier. At the time he worked for Ebay and we were both invited to speak and debate at an industry event in Las Vegas. As we sat in a room full of ‘experts’ to discuss the future of our industry, the conversation quickly turned controversial. Passions were raised and I found myself standing side by side with this enigmatic French giant on numerous topics. His passion for the space coupled with his cool logic were items that endeared me greatly to the man. We were comrades in ideas, and soon became fast friends…
The data center industry is small indeed and those of us who have had the pleasure and terror at working in the worlds largest infrastructures know a special kind of bond. We routinely meet off-hours and have dinner and drinks. Its a small cadre of names you probably know, or have heard about, joined in the fact that we have all dealt with or are dealing with challenges most data center environments will never see. In these less formal affairs, company positions melted away, technological challenges came to the fore, and most importantly the real people behind these companies emerge. In these forums, you could always count on Olivier to be a warm and calming force. He was incredibly intelligent, and although he might disagree, you could count on him to champion the free discussion of ideas.
In the summer of 2009, Apple hired Olivier Sanche as its Director of Global Data Center Operations. Sanche had prevoiusly worked as an eBay Data Center executive.