Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Brocade SAN Solution at U of Iowa

Brocade had a press release out yesterday explaining how their SAN directors had been implemented recently. I've always liked Brocade products, thought this was an interesting case study and thought I would see if my brother was paying attention to the blog. :)

Two 48000 Directors are the foundation of the SAN (Storage Area Network) and will scale to as many as 384 concurrently active 4 Gbit/sec ports in a single domain.

Check out the new/press release at CNN here

First LEED Gold Certification

The first Gold Certification for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has been earned by Digital Realty Trust. The project was for a Fortune Global 500 company (i.e.: someone that could afford it) in Chicago.

The data center is 20,000 sq.ft of raised floor with 4000 kW of available IT load. They started this certification process more than a year ago and have several other projects expecting certifications soon.

Check out the press release here

Monday, October 29, 2007

The HD Web

A short while back I explained what a cool company Akamai was. Back in February of this year I made my prediction for 2007. Well, Akamai continues to blow me away, and I think the prediction was perhaps a little ahead of the market (hey Verizon, how long until I get FiOS?!!)

I forget where I ran across it, but Akamai has a new web site to showcase High Definition video capabilities through their network. It really is pretty amazing, and gets me excited for watching HD over the internet (as soon as the fiber comes to my house).

Check out their site here and cool explanation of it all here.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Green Data Center

Of the hundreds of articles we've all seen this year on the environment, saving energy, new energy sources and "the green data center", I wanted to point out two recent items I have read that I thought were particularly good.

The print version of the October 15th issue of EWeek ("The Green Issue"), has a lot of good information, statistics and news. I couldn't find a direct link to the issue, but here is their 5 Steps to Green IT.

Secondly, Matt Stansberry at Tech Target is releasing a chapter at a time of his E-book, The Green Data Center: Energy Efficient Computing in the 21st Century. The chapters I have read so far are excellent. Matt has a lot of good information, stats and industry trends. I am anxious for the chapters to come.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

HP's Dynamic Smart Cooling

Just a quick link to an article about HP debuting their new 'smart' India data center. They claim it has achieved a 40% energy savings due to using their technologies and methodologies.

Check out the San Jose Mercury News article here

Data Center Outsourcing

I ran across a link in my email recently that was interesting, so I continued reading it. EDS has received a "Strong-Positive" rating from Gartner. This comes from the 2007 release of their "MarketScope for Data Center Outsourcing, North America".

EDS was one of 17 companies evaluated and manages over 100 data centers worldwide. Check out their press release here

I of course didn't have a spare $1,995 laying around for the full report, so I searched around - and found a good summary of the report. Unisys was listed on the report ("Positive" rating) and had the summary on their web site. There were a few companies I didn't recognize. I suppose I think too much of the colo companies and not those providing a data center as an outsourced service.

I wish I was able to purchase the report - it looks very thorough and does a nice job of spelling out the evaluation criteria and market segment. Here are some of the companies (with links) that were evaluated in the report:

Atos Origin
Northrup Grumman
Perot Systems
Vericenter (recently acquired by Sungard)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

DC Site Selection

A long while back I mentioned that I was working on a site selection post for the blog. As I was working on it, I decided it was worthy of more than just a post.

I am happy to announce that I have finished a white paper on the topic of Data Center Site Selection. I welcome any and all comments and hope it is informative and helpful.

If you decide to link to the paper, I would ask that you link to this post instead of directly to the PDF.


Rath Consulting
October 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Good Code and Computing Overhead

Alistair Croll over at Earth2Tech has an excellent article on coding practices, coding complexity and the effect it has on the data center. It shows how complex our applications have come and all of the different components that go in to making it run.

I'm not sure I could do it justice in discussing or quoting, so check it out here.

Netapp DoD Data Migration

Enterprise Storage Forum has a pretty interesting story on the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) going from 18 data centers to 2. They virtualized the middleware and consolidated data with Network Appliance's Virtual File Manager (VFM).

In addition to consolidating the servers, DCMA also needed to set up a common file system that would work across the enterprise. For this it created a File Area Network (FAN) using software and storage appliances from Network Appliance. DCMA has more than 300TB of storage.
I think we will continue to see stories like this as large projects are under way to consolidate, virtualize and setup common file systems and platforms across the enterprise.

Check out the article here

Monday, October 08, 2007

Server Farm Goes Solar

Server farm company AISO (Affordable Internet Services Online) has built a 2,000 sq. ft. facility, banked with solar panels that generate 12 kilowatts of electricity. Located south of Las Angeles they claim to be 100% solar powered.

To slash energy consumption, switched from 120 individual servers to four IBM blades running virtualization software that lets one computer do the work of multiple machines. The cooling system cranks up for only about 10 minutes an hour, and when the outside temperature drops to 60 degrees, air is sucked into the building to cool the servers. Solar tubes built into the roof illuminate the facility's interior.

Check out the CNN article here and AISO site with further details on the implementation here.

Akamai Enters the Data Center

Akamai is a pretty amazing company. They have been around since 1999, survived the dot com bust, losing their co-founder Danny Lewin in the 9/11 attacks and continue to be an innovative company among growing competition.

Today they announced a new application acceleration service. As product marketing manager Neil Cohen explains it, it takes traffic off the WAN and substitutes the Internet. The service utilizes their 27,000 + web points of presence world wide.

Akamai's software achieves faster response times by optimizing Internet routing, the vendor claims. Its server-based software opts, not for the default shortest path first as data traverses the network, but for a route that may look longer on a map but turn out to offer better response time. "We find good latency and an available path," Cohen states. Akamai also adds transport flow optimization and protocol optimization, he adds.
Pricing will be similar to their web application acceleration service. Akamai has had several trial customers for the service that claim to have recorded significant cost savings. Akamai shares jumped 8.7% on the news.

Check out the information in the following places:

Byte and Switch
Red Herring
Internet News

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Terremark Building in Virginia

Totaling 450,000 sq. ft., Terremark is starting on the first 50,000 sq.ft of their data center in Culpeper County Virginia. The $250 million project is expected to put Culpeper County on the map.

With existing facilities in Florida and California, Terremark is looking to provide a little more safety, security and government compliance with the Virginia site. Culpeper is apprixmately 66 miles south west of Washington D.C.

Check out the WHIR news article here (complete with misspelling Culpeper county as a country) :)

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