Your correspondent will be taking a few days off to recharge the batteries. I'm taking my family to see the Grand Canyon, and are we ever looking forward to it. I've never been there, and I'm sure I have a few misconceptions.

It strikes me, for example, that the unchanging Grand Canyon stands in contrast to the ever-changing data center environment. One, literally as old as the hills while the other changes constantly. The Grand Canyon, of course, is relatively immune to the elements, especially heat, cold, and dirt; data center operators strive endlessly to control these elements so fragile are data centers.

So, the question I have posed. How have data centers changed the Grand Canyon? How will the world of mission critical affect my visit to this natural wonder?

I'll be keeping a journal of my travels and hope to answer these questions when I return. 

Some changes are to be expected. I just looked up the temperatures for next week, thanks to Google's data centers. (Expected high today in Phoenix is 112 Fahrenheit, but it's a dry heat.) And I've rented a car more cheaply and booked flights more quickly because of other websites. 

I hope to avoid finding out about how well physicians in Arizona can access my medical records in New York; in fact, we have no time in our schedule for hospital visits.

I don't expect that technology will have changed everything. The mule ride down the Canyon will be decidedly low tech, I expect. I don't know about the lodge or the reservation system yet.

I'll try to stay away from the mundane and ordinary. 

The first big mystery: Will technology be adequate for me to stay in touch with work enough to keep the boss happy or will I be far enough from technology that my wife and kids will be happy.

Happy Trails.