Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Green Storage, Smart Grids, and Wireless Spectrum for Utility Providers

Earth2tech has an excellent article on smarter storage -- how data storage can account for up to 40 percent of the energy consumed by a data center. GigaOm's Tom Trainer offered data de-duplication and thin provisioning as technologies that were helping the greening efforts. 3Par is a leader in thin provisioning, which is a "mechanism that applies to large-scale centralized computer disk storage systems, SAN's and storage virtualization systems". 3Par recently helped Mary Kay save 50% in storage capacity and 60% administration time with 3PAR Utility Storage and six InServ storage servers.

Last week Vint Cerf had a Google Public Policy blog post titled Where the smart grid meets the Internet. Vint has some awesome insight (as always) into building the smart grid and how it is essentially a nascent energy Internet. He stresses open protocols, open standards and free access to all of the energy information generated.

Finally -- Earth2tech also has an article today about American Electric Power (AEP) telling the FCC that a dedicated licensed spectrum is sorely needed by utilities. AEP is saying that as more smart grid services are rolled out, more and more network bandwidth is needed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Data Center Stock Index Update

As I approach almost a full year of tracking my data center stocks, I thought I would post the chart for the wild ride it has been. I think for the most part these stocks have weathered the recession pretty well, and as you can see, they are doing quite well lately. Reference this blog post to see what stocks are included in my capitalization-weighted index.

Here is the October 2008 through August 21, 2009 graph:

Earlier this year I started a second index: Equinix, Savvis, Switch and Data and Terremark. Here is the graph for that index.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Smart Grids, City 2.0 and Project Netal

Ok, so those 3 things aren't related -- I just had a couple of things I ran across tonight that I found interesting....

1. Cisco looks to ride smart-grid data deluge. This one is pretty apparent if you follow the Cisco news and EnergyWise software announcements. I keep waiting for a Cisco acquisition -- particularly in this space.

2. HP's vision of building City 2.0. HP Labs sustainability visionary Chandrakant Patel describes his vision of building City 2.0, enabled by a sustainable IT Ecosystem. Pretty interesting interview/article.

3. Ok -- so this one is not data center related, but is just frigg'n cool. :) Cnet has an exclusive on Microsoft's project Natal. Netal is a next generation gaming platform (REALLY next generation) with no controller required.

one last one, as long as we're talking about the big companies in IT : BusinessWeek posted an interview with Eric Schmidt last week and asks several questions about where Google is headed next.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Now With 20% More Fiber!

The DataCenterDynamics site has an article I really liked, titled The American Clould's Weakest Link. It covers the sobering speech given by Allied Fiber CEO Hunter Newby at the Seattle DataCenterDynamics conference Thursday. Newby said "Moving apps into the cloud is very dangerous if you don't know your physical fiber route". How very true -- I almost think people take the physical connectivity between data centers for granted some times.

$7.2 Billion of the recent U.S. stimulus money was dedicated to developing the country's broadband infrastructure. Allied Fiber has been applying for stimulus funding and dreams of building one large fiber ring around the country.

I've worked with several places and brokers that know where all of the fiber routes are in America -- what a fun resource that would be to have as public domain. I think much more fiber investment is needed in this country and NOT just in the big / tier 1 cities and markets. I think if the U.S. is to stay competitive, on both the business and home side of things, we must have a more robust fiber infrastructure that reaches everyone. Next to cheap land and cheap power, data center site selection places a strong emphasis on the amount of lit and dark fiber available in the area.

Allied Fiber and TMCnet have built a Dark Fiber Community to bring together optical network providers and the suppliers who help them build. I've also worked with NEF and the vast database of buried and lit services they have. They also have a natural extension of that business in findadatacenter.com Another favorite site and set of research reports I would Love to use if I had money burning a hole in my pocket is TeleGeography.....some pretty cool data here.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

DOE Smart Grid Report and $57 Million Funding

Renewable Energy World reports on the DOE $57 million to fund smart grid development yesterday. The original announcement was back on July 20th and included more than $47 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and $10.5 million to increase the nation's energy security. Wednesday Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the delivery of more than $47 million in funding. The DOE also released a Smart Grid Report. Other items of interest on their web site include:
Science News also had an interesting article recently about Electromagnetic weaponry being used on the electric grid.