Tuesday, May 26, 2009

i/o Data Centers To Offer ICE Cube Modular Data Center

I have followed i/o Data Centers for a while now. Today I ran across a press release that furthers my theory about containers and the colocation market, as well as supporting the overall container momentum.

SGI / Rackable announced that it recently shipped its ICE Cube modular data center to i/o Data Centers to address clients' evolving data center needs. The press release is about 95% marketing and specs on the ICE Cube, so I have to wonder what exactly i/o is going to do with the containers other than 'offer' them to customers. Still -- I applaud them for embracing it and making it a product offering.

Last month CRG West announced it was offering Verari Systems FOREST containers to its customers.

Data Center Stock Market News

Just a couple of items I noticed today in regards to the data center stocks I monitor. First, is an update to the data center stock index I started last year. It has been a roller coaster -- here is the latest graph:

More details on what the index is comprised of can be found here.

The Dow Jones Internet Composite Index has also been graphing quite nicely the last 3 months.

The second story was one I some how missed last week -- Wachovia resumed coverage of the data center space. They immediately rated Equinix and Switch & Data with OUTPERFORM.
"Both companies have high visibility into its revenue base and low churn driven by 1 – 3+ year contracts with escalators. EQIX, SDXC, and other network neutral data centers benefit from a supply demand imbalance due to growth in IP and internet traffic and limited available space close to fiber hubs for telecom equipment and networking gear"
Also late last week submarine transport cable provider Hibernia announced they have expanded into Equinix's LD4 London Slough IBX data center.

Earlier today Datacenterknowledge reported on VMWare taking a 5% stake in Terremark. In terms of institutional ownership, that puts them in 2nd place, behind Ashford Capital Management, who has a 7.98% stake. I thought the comment on the BusinessWeek investing site was interesting:
"There is significant interest in TMRK by institutional investors. The 29.13% of the shares outstanding that they control represents a greater percentage of ownership than at almost any other company in the Specialty Telecommunications industry."

Data Center Degrees

Nope -- not a blog post about temperatures and cooling in the data center -- this time I'm talking about educational degrees. ITJungle.com reports on Metropolitan Community College (MCC), in Omaha reinventing its General IT curriculum. They are adding specialized course work realting to the IBM Power Systems i Platform - and launching a two-year educational track called Data Center Management. With Yahoo, Google and Microsoft all in their back yard - combined with online courses, MCC should have a lot of demand for these courses.
"MCC received a three-year $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor with the goal of increasing the number of students in IT education. Building and developing the data center and the management is part of the grant."
Check out the IT Jungle article here

Last week the Wall Street Journal had an article about "Google Searches for Staffing Answers". It discussed Google HR and their approach to solving the brain drain problem. What better or more appropriate way for them to solve it, than with an algorithm. Check out the interesting article here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Fremont, NE Data Center Study

Apparently Freemont, Nebraska lost out on a bid for a Yahoo data center.  A study was then done to determine whether Fremont was a suitable location for a data center.  The study findings show a spot on the north edge of town that would be idea.  The main selling point for the city is power -- 30 megawatts.  While it may not have been enough for Yahoo, they point out it is perfect for the smaller, Enterprise data centers.

Fremont is about 35 miles north-west of Omaha.

Check out the Fremont Tribune article here

Yahoo Data Center Planned for New York

It looks like Yahoo is planning another mega data center, this time in Western New York.  The Wall Street Journal reports that state officials are working with Yahoo to establish the new data center and that the Governor asked the Power Authority to come up with low-cost power (which is why I was suprised to hear the news in the first place).

Late last month Yahoo reported a strong balance sheet with $3.7 Billion in cash and marketable debt.  

Check out the article here

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Insert Catchy Cloud Computing Title Here

For the most part I stay away from articles or links about cloud computing -- it's just too crowded right now and I have too much to read, let alone write about.  I have, however run across several good links lately that I wanted to share:

Many sites and blogs have coverered the move from Microsoft to Digital Realty Trust for Michael Manos.  I thought the May 5th post on his blog - Forecast Cloudy with Continued Enterprise - was particularly good.  The beginning reminded me of reading Nicholas Carr's The Big Switch: an excellent book.  I think Digital Realty Trust will be an excellent fit for Michael and thank him for generously sharing his wisdom in his blog.

Also on Cinco de Mayo was a post from Sam Johnston on "Is OCCI the HTTP of Cloud Computing?"  OCCI is the OGF's Open Cloud Computing Interface - who provides the interface to Cloud Infrastructure as a Service.  Has anyone asked Tim Berners-Lee about this yet?

Apparently Akamai, formerly a Content Delivery Network company, is now a Cloud Provider.  Ummm... ok

Google had a couple of notes on cloud computing recently.  Co-founder Sergey Brin posted the 2008 Founders' Letter on the Google blog, and discussed cloud computing.  CEO Eric Schmidt, at a press event, dismissed Android questions in favor of talking about the cloud, models and strategies.

Forrester Research recognized 3Tera's Applogic as the leading "cloud infrastructure software offering available today".

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Wind Energy

For anyone that has read my blog for a while, you will know that I have a side interest in Wind Energy. Power and renewable energy sources are obviously huge issues for the data center industry and since I live in one of the top wind energy producing states, it has always been of interest to me. Tonight I read two lines from an article about a Berkshire Hathaway meeting that piqued my interest.
"Berkshire is investing heavily on wind energy, especially in Iowa. "We'll continue to be a leader" in wind power, Buffett said. They'll also invest in additional utility businesses."
Berkshire lists MidAmerican Energy Holdings, based in Des Moines, IA as a subsidiary company. MidAmerican has some large wind projects in Iowa. As much as wind power is picking up in popularity around the world, I have to wonder what projects (specifically) Bershire is investing in.

After reading the above quote I turned on the TV (Science Channel of course) and watched one of those "future world" type programs. One of the segments was on a huge wind farm in Denmark that was producing double-digit megawatts of electricity. I 'think' they were referring to the Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Co-operative, off the coast of Amager, Denmark. I of course proceeded straight to online maps and Google Earth to check it out.
An October 2008 article at Treehugger has an aritcle on the wind farm - stating that it will have 207 Megawatts by 2010.

Exiting times for Wind power as a renewable energy!

UPDATE: Thanks Sune Christesen for a link to Offshore Wind Farms - complete with a Google Earth Placemark collection!