Archive for the ‘Data centres and the cloud: basics’ Category

The data centers of tomorrow will use the same tech our phones do



12 August 2014 – It’s no secret that the demands placed on data centers are growing rapidly. Not surprisingly, the companies that operate these vast warehouses are concerned about the costs of using all that energy. Last year Google noted its global operations continuously draw 260 million megawatts of power, roughly a quarter of the energy generated by a nuclear power plant. Also last year Hewlett-Packard announced it had partnered with Calxeda, to use extremely low-power ARM chips in a new generation of data-center servers. These chips are similar to the ones found in iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices, and use significantly less energy than Intel’s traditional server chips.

As Wired magazine noted in an article last week “the mobile revolution has spread beyond the mini supercomputers in our hands all the way to the datacenter. With our expanded use of smartphones comes increased pressure on servers to help drive these devices: The activity we see everyday on our phones is a mere pinhole view into all that’s happening behind the scenes, in the massive cloud infrastructure powering … Read more

Sears turns old stores into datacentres: converting shells of the 20th century into tools for the 21st century digital economy



23 May 2013 – Sears has decided that one of the best things to do with all those stores it had to close after the US ran out of money was to convert them into data centres. Sears has created a Ubiquity Critical Environments unit which will convert a Sears retail store in Chicago into data centre space.

The cunning plan is to market space from former Sears and Kmart retail stores as a home for data centres, disaster recovery space and wireless towers.

This way the company will convert the shells of the 20th century retail industry into tools for the 21st century digital economy. The big idea is that you have a technology platform laid atop a retail footprint, creating the possibility for a product with a different look to it, he said. So what does Sears know about data centres? Well Farney does know a thing or two as he previously managed Microsoft’s huge Chicago data centre, and then ran a network of low-latency services for the financial services firm Interactive Data.

For more from Datacenter … Read more

Wall Street debates: just how do you value data center stocks?



21 February 2013 – A favorable feature article in Barron’s can lift some stocks with a “Barron’s Bounce,” while a tough critique will also be felt in the markets. Last Saturday Barron’s followed up on a slide in Rackspace shares by taking a critical look at the methods used to value data center companies on Wall Street. That kicked off a series of articles in the financial press and blogosphere debating the merit of data center investments.

For more from Data Center Knowledge here’s a review of this week’s action (click here).… Read more

Facebook’s latest server architecture: a challenge to OEMs IBM, H-P,and Dell? And Amazon and Google?

18 January 2013 – Facebook has provided a big endorsement for ARM server CPUs: the company is showing off a next-gen server architecture for its Open Compute platform for building cheap/dense/power-efficient IT infrastructures that allows companies to switch between various x86 and ARM CPUs by swapping boards. Applied Micro and Calxeda are the first ARM vendors to support it. The architecture will also support Intel’s silicon photonics tech, using it to handle 100G Ethernet links.

Pundits in the industry are saying this latest server architecture could present a huge challenge to server OEMs such as IBM, H-P , and Dell. Not only does the open-source architecture enable cheap, energy-efficient servers, it offers a tremendous amount of flexibility to install and swap out parts as users see fit. It arrives at a time when many incumbents are already struggling to deal with the adoption of cheap commodity servers by Internet/cloud giants.

And Rackspace is throwing its weight behind Facebook’s platform.  Embracing Open Compute could help Rackspace’s OpenStack solutions become more cost-competitive relative to Amazon and Google’s cloud infrastructure offerings – both … Read more

How Big Data, cloud computing, Amazon and poll quants won the U.S. election

By: Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.   Founder/CEO, The Cloud and E-Discovery

15 November 2012 –   As Daniel Honan of Big Think pointed out, just like in baseball and politics, there are winners and losers in a data-driven world. The losers in baseball, for instance, are the over-rated prospects who will never be drafted because data analysis has a way of finding them out early on in their careers. In politics, the biggest loser will be the horse race pundit, the guy who spins the polls to reinforce one side’s belief that it is winning when it’s actually losing. Sometimes this is done for partisan reasons, in the hope of creating “momentum,” and sometimes it is done to create a more compelling media narrative.

This was indeed a choice election, and the choice was between following entertainment journalism or data-based journalism. As Andrew Beaujon has pointed out, entertainment is fun, and math is hard. Well, math won.

Data analysis at its best

It is a fascinating area of data analysis.  As part of my neuroinformatics degree program, I recently had the chance … Read more

Take a walk through a Google data center

18 October 2012 –  Google, notoriously tight-lipped about the secrets locked away in its data centers, yesterday offered a rare glimpse inside those warehouses where information is processed for the company’s vast network of web services.  A newly launched site, Google Data Centers, lets users learn about eight centers located around the world, even offering 360-degree Street View images of the company’s endless server racks and labyrinthian cooling systems in the Lenoir, NC, center.
The company constructs its own facilities, is careful to regulate temperatures through environmentally friendly means (such as recycled water), and even attempts to select sites based on their naturally occurring resources.
But the company hasn’t let its guard down completely. Users who take the virtual tour of Lenoir will get a delightful geeky treat: a life-sized “Star Wars” stormtrooper can be seen standing guard at the end of a row of computers, as if to warn visitors that there’s a powerful force (ha!) watching them while they explore.
From the networking room to the cooling towers outside of the facility, you can explore the different areas … Read more

UK data centre installs “sleeping pods” to combat Olympics congestion

13 April 2012 – When the Olympics circus comes to town, London is going to be quite the crowded, congested place. However, one data centre firm has come up with a novel solution to the problem of staff being unable to get to the office on time due to an extended commute.

In-office sleeping pods is the idea Interxion’s management has formulated. The pods are rather like those Tokyo hotels (as seen on Idiot Abroad and countless other TV programmes), although these ones are comparatively luxury affairs, with memory foam mattresses for one thing – along with laptop holders.

Interxion’s critical staff can therefore stay on site 24/7, ensuring their customers aren’t going to get in anything of a pickle due to road congestion, rail hold-ups and so forth.

Greg McCulloch, UK Managing Director of Interxion, commented: “Due to the nature of our business we need to be ready for all eventualities and while we are excited to have the Olympics in London we also need to be sure that we can continue to offer the highest level of resilience

Read more

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Data Center

13 April 2012 – Douglas Balog is Vice President and Business Line Executive, IBM Storage Systems, responsible for the overall IBM storage business, including business strategy and product plans for the company’s complete family of workload optimized storage systems.  In the current issue of Data Center Knowledge he writes:

“The personal computer, the Internet and World Wide Web, wireless and mobile computing, and now social media have all served to form and reform the way in which we in business think about, manage and exploit computing power. The incessant waves of innovation have led to incalculable levels of information sharing and leveraging and created entire industries as well as business disciplines.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the data center. Over the course of the last 25 years of technical disruption, those responsible for managing all of this innovation started becoming saddled with more responsibility. For example, the constant influx of new technologies resulted in larger IT staffs. As innovation lead to greater prosperity, employee ranks swelled as well, and the gatekeepers found themselves now setting access … Read more

I.B.M. aims to sharply simplify corporate data center technology

11 April 2012 – We have waxed lyrical in the past about how IBM seems to be in every aspect of  the disruptive technologies sweeping across whole industries and society, all of it concerning information technology and information management.  Just one example is what we learned at FutureMed (click here) which is part of our upcoming special series “IBM: a culture of analytics”.

But corporate data centers are, as Steve Lohr points out in today’s New York Times,  the slowpoke laggards of information technology.  Although the essence of cloud computing is a move towards highly standardized racks of commodity servers, it can take up to six months to get a new business application up and running, from buying the hardware to fine-tuning the software. An estimated 70 percent of corporate technology budgets is spent on installing, updating and maintaining current technology — keeping the digital lights on.

IBM intends to change all that in an effort that is the most ambitious step yet to simplify and streamline data center technology.  For the story from today’s New … Read more

Cisco, EMC and VMware team up for data centre training

5 April 2012 – Cisco Systems has partnered up with EMC and VMware, to provide IT professionals with technical training in a range of areas impacting the data centre, such as networking and cloud computing to storage and virtualisation.

Cisco, EMC and VMware are looking to give IT administrators the needed training to address these trends, according to Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager of Learning@Cisco: “Today’s data centre is composed of heterogeneous technologies, with the cloud blurring the lines between technology silos,” Beliveau-Dunn said in a statement. “IT organisations must cultivate new cloud architecture skills, understand how to use big data and maintain deep domain expertise with a renewed understanding of virtualisation and technology convergence. With this offering, Cisco and EMC are leading the way in transforming skills for the next generation of IT professionals.”

Those new skills will grow in importance as big data, unified networking, cloud computing and converged infrastructures transform not only what systems and technologies are put into the data centre, but also the expertise IT administrators need to install, deploy and manage … Read more