Friday, May 25, 2007

Links Catch-up

I've been pretty busy lately and not able to post many things on the blog. Well, as a result there was certainly a lot to catch up on. Here a number of links, notes and other items that I've been able to catch up on tonight:

  • Plexus Systems, providers of the on-demand manufacturing performance system Plexus Online, announced a DR site; partnering with Netriplex in Asheville, N.C.
  • An interesting post with some history of the making of data center management software company Racemi.
  • Here is a nice slide show of the results of the Stanford University Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity May 2007 Survey.
  • ITIL adoption in the data center is still low, but interest high as discussed in this Eweek article. This is really too bad -- perhaps some of those human errors mentioned a few bullet points back could be eliminated through ITIL implemented procedures! As a side note, I recently came across a new IT Service Management software company that I am checking out: Lontra.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sun Microsystems

Just a quick link to a very nice article on the recent history of Sun Microsystems. The Fast Company article explains the ups and downs for Sun during the pre and post dot com era.

I think Scott McNealy left some pretty big shoes to fill, but from what I have seen, Jonathan Schwartz has been doing quite nicely.

They also discuss the BlackBox project quite a bit and the rumors about what customers they are potentially building them for.

Check out the article here

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Invisible Traffic

I think I need to have a second job for Network World or Cnet or something -- I would LOVE to just play with all of these technologies I read about and see what they can do. How fun would it be to have an enormous lab and test network and then get products from software companies to play, I mean test out.

I've always been intrigued about the WildPackets software. A few days back they announced a new analysis tool to help optimize 'invisible traffic' among virtual servers. It's included in the latest OmniAnalysis platform and helps in troubleshooting, forensics, security and compliance.

Data center personnel are frustrated by the problem of invisible traffic in virtual environments, explained Mahboud Zabetian, President and CEO of WildPackets. Virtualization offers tremendous benefits in the areas of cost savings and other efficiencies. But it creates new challenges for anyone who needs to analyze network traffic in order to fix a bug, troubleshoot a performance problem, and fine-tune a server configuration. Traffic among virtual servers doesnt cross over a network segment where it can be easily captured.

Check out more information and the press release here

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yet Another Lessons Learned

Jeffersonville, IN city hall has a data center cooling problem.

Over heating in the data center has caused problems with servers 3 times this spring! They are looking into a HVAC unit, but have not made a decision yet.

I hate to laugh at the expense of others, but this story is certainly interesting to read. Hopefully sevreal people in this town have learned some lessons.
Check out the article here

Monday, May 14, 2007

Burton Group's Data Center Strategies

Sys-con Media has an article on the Burton Group adding a new service for IT professionals facing data center decisions.

"According to Jamie Lewis, Burton Group CEO and research chair, technological advances in the data center, such as server and storage virtualization, storage networking using iSCSI and blade systems, multi-core processors, and low power platforms present opportunities to build efficient and productive data centers while reducing costs."

Check out the article here

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Data Center Trends Study

Digital Realty Trust has commissioned a survey of senior decision makers in the data center industry. The report is really nice, was recorded in 2007 and included 150 participants of large companies in North America.

The report shows a number of key findings with wonderful statistics about data centers, expansion plans and proof that data centers have become a critical part of business operations.

The key finding was:
"Five out of every six respondents (more than 80 percent) have plans to expand their

Check out the press release here

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Netapp Data Center Expansion Follow-up

Back in April I posted a link to a story on Netapp selecting a site for data center expansion, with Research Triangle Park (RTP) being a top choice.

$16.3 million in county and state incentives later, they have selected RTP over Pittsburgh or Washington State. Netapp will build a 130,000 square foot expansion, where they have 530,000 square feet already.

Check out the article here

Berbee Expansion

Berbee, a CDW company, is planning a $1.9 million expansion in Fichtburg, WI. Berbee will receive $250,00 in Wisconsin Technology Zone tax credits.

Check out the Small Business Tims article here

Friday, May 04, 2007

DISA Utility Computing

Military Information Technology has a really nice article on how DISA(Defense Information Systems Agency) computing services has moved to a utility computing model. They have awarded $1.4 billion in contracts for storage and processing power, in a 'pay for what you use' model.

DISA maintains complete operational control over their data centers, while the six major 'service capacity' contracts provide the horsepower and SAN.

I could go into a lot of the details that are very impressive, but the article does a good job of covering everything. I have always liked the utility computing model (more so, 'grid'), even though it seems to be pretty high on the hype scale. I think this move by DISA just shows ( or will show) the validity of the model and how it can work.

Check out the article here.

Austin, TX Data Center Tax Breaks

Even with all of the data centers being planned or built in Texas, Austin is proposing another tax break to help attract data centers. Democrat Senator Kirk Watson sponsored legislation that allows data centers to avoid paying school property taxes for up to 10 years.

The state then pays the missed taxes to the school district. The goal of this, of course, is to attract more businesses with higher paying jobs and compete with other cities offering incentives to companies.

Check out the complete details here.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Total Site Solutions Books over $15 Million

As if we needed more evidence that the industry is doing well....

Total Site Solutions "today announced multiple new project awards totaling more than $15 million for the first quarter of 2007". TSS provides technology consulting, construction management and facilities management for mission critical facilities.

Check out the PR Newswire here

Data Center Outsourcing

There is a good article over at Infoworld on the colo market and companies outsourcing their data center needs. They also discuss making ice at night to cool in the day, fly wheel replacments for a UPS, and increasing efficiency through the usage of DC power. The first paragraph sums it up nicely:
"Data-center space is in high demand these days, and like energy prices, that demand appears to be headed nowhere but up. In fact, Digital Realty, a San Francisco-based REIT, estimates that demand for data-center space will continue to rise by as much as 15% annually over the next five years."

Check out the article here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Utility Power Demand

Rich Miller beat me to the post on the Wall Street and Technology article titled "Don't Panic, The Grid's Going Down". I had been thinking that for all of the stories lately on how much power servers are using in the data center there wasn't much coverage on the available utility power from outside the data center.

The aforementioned article talks about the New York area, but surely this is bound to be on the minds of data centers most everywhere. It's amazing the number of data centers being planned/built in Texas. Here is a run-down of the announcements off the top of my head:

Stream Realty - 150,000 square feet
Microsoft - 470,000 square feet
Lowes - 100,000 square feet
NSA - new data center
Austin Data Centers - over 350,000 square feet
And then there's The Planet/EV1 in Dallas and Rackspace in San Antonio (already)

There are many others I imagine that I missed. Now -- with all of these new centers coming on line this year or next, all I can think about is the Texas power grid, ERCOT. Last year they shut off power to thousands when record spring temperatures were experienced. How well are the Texas power grids set to handle this massive increase in demand? There have been other brownouts around the country and many more to come I'm sure.

Then there was the 2003 NorthEast blackout that seems to be a reason for the DHS to build a backup data center and focus location selection in.......wait for it......TEXAS! On top of all of this let's not forget the potential cyber attack on power grids, as explained in this 2005 Washington Post article; or saboteur's with too much clearance.

Even when you have enough power coming in the data center, the staff may be the ultimate cause of an outage (humerous story here)

It will be an interesting summer to see what happens in the state of Texas (or elsewhere) with utilities and supply and demand.