Call Us

Elon Musk Spent Christmas Eve Moving Servers at X to Cut Costs: Biography


Elon Musk’s new biography by Walter Isaacson was released on September 12.
Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Image

  • Elon Musk spent Christmas Eve moving X’s data servers from one facility to another.
  • The facility was a major cost for X, according to Musk’s new biography penned by Walter Isaacson. 
  • Isaacson described Musk’s behavior in this incident as an “example of his recklessness.” 

Elon Musk is infamous for his neurotic work ethic and no-nonsense approach to getting things done and Christmas Eve is no exception to this, according to an excerpt from his new biography written by Walter Isaacson and reported by CNBC.

Shortly after Musk’s $44 billion takeover of X — then known as Twitter — in October 2022, he was keen to move servers from one of X’s data centers in Sacramento to another facility in Portland, Oregon because it was costing the company over $100 million, per the excerpt. 

On December 22, Musk was in a meeting with two infrastructure managers who told him that NTT — the company that owned the Sacramento facility — had walked back on plans to move out the servers in 2023 because “they don’t think we will be financially viable.”

Another manager added that the operation would take at least six to nine months but Musk insisted it be done in 90 days or “your resignation is accepted.”

As the manager protested Musk asked: “Do you know the head-explosion emoji?” He then said: “That’s what my head feels like right now. What a pile of fucking bullshit. Jesus H fucking Christ. Portland obviously has tons of room. It’s trivial to move servers one place to another.”

It was Musk’s cousins James and Andrew Musk who convinced him to move the servers themselves whilst they were on a plane from San Francisco to Austin the next day. 

“It was the type of impulsive, impractical, surge-into-the-breach idea that Musk loved,” Isaacson wrote. “It was already late evening, but he told his pilot to divert, and they made a loop back up to Sacramento.” 

The group was let into the facility late at night by an X staffer named Alex from Uzbekistan who showed them the vault storing around 5,200 computers on racks the size of refrigerators, weighing about 2,500 pounds and eight feet tall.

“These things do not look that hard to move,” Musk said but Alex pointed out that contractors needed to be hired to lift the floor panels and disconnect the electric cables and seismic rods underneath.

Musk then asked his security guard for a pocket knife and started lifting one of the air vents in the floor with it and opened the floor panels. He crawled under the server to open an electrical panel and when nothing exploded, he took it as a sign they could move ahead with the operation. 

The next day, Christmas Eve, Musk called in reinforcements including friends from Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company to procure equipment and tools needed to move the servers.

Boring Company CEO Steve Davis was able to get someone to obtain a semi-truck and line up moving vans, which the servers were wheeled onto.

The team used all of the available trucks in Sacramento by the end of the week and moved over 700 racks in three days, with the rest being handled by X’s infrastructure team in January. 

Musk later admitted the “whole Sacramento shutdown was a mistake,” after the lack of servers caused a whole host of issues. This included Ron Desantis’ presidential campaign launch on Twitter Spaces being spoiled by delays and glitches as the app repeatedly crashed. 

Isaacson wrote that Musk’s Sacramento incident was “an example of his recklessness, his impatience with pushback, and the way he intimidated people.” 

He added that the billionaire has “a good track record of knowing when to ignore naysayers. But not a perfect one.” 



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *