Thursday, December 29, 2016

Data Center Links: December 29, 2016

Here are some (mostly) recent things I found interesting:

  • Inside Amazon Hyperscale.  I am a little behind - but catching up on watching AWS re:Invent talks from the event last month. I think the world of AWS VP James Hamilton, and his talk at the event about the inner workings of AWS data center operations is absolutely fascinating. Putting the hyper in hyperscale, James talks about all of the components of their data center architecture, innovation and the things one can do when your unit of measure is in a category of its own. Global network details, 100 waves @ 100G, 32MW data centers with 50-80k servers each, making their own network and compute hardware, machine learning, and just how their massive scale came into being for the cloud giant. Watch the video...  or catch up on a much better article on it at Data Center Frontier.
  • Number of hyperscale data centers reach 300. Citing research from Synergy Research Group CBR reports that the number of hyper scale data centers is expected to reach the 300 mark this month. The report analyzed the data center footprint of major cloud providers and internet service companies. With an average of 13 data center sites each the U.S. accounted for 45% of the number and China and Japan following at 8% and7% respectively. 
  • OneWeb raises $1.2B for satellite-based internet. The race to deliver satellite-powered internet is moving fast. After Tesla asked for permission to launch satellites, OneWeb has raised $1.2 billion to fund a "high volume satellite production facility" that will hopefully produce 15 satellites each week. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Data Center Links: December 7, 2016

Here are some (mostly) recent things I found interesting:

  1. Equinix buys Verizon data centers.  I 'think' I saw this one coming... but the biggest player in the industry just got bigger.  Just 5 years after Verizon paid $1.4 billion to acquire Terremark, it has sold 24 data centers to Equinix for $3.6 billion. It seems hard to top this asset sale, but I guess we'll see what 2017 brings. I liked Equinix co-founder Jay Adelson's link to the 1998 story about Equinix as a Cisco-backed upstart.  
  2. HPE and Schneider Electric partner on Micro Data Centers. HP Enterprise and Schneider are partnering to deliver a complete pre-fab solution for drop-in-place modular data center. I always liked the previous respective versions of a modular solution that were offered, but this partnership makes sense (targeting the edge and IoT, etc).  Bonus points for not referencing the solution as a 'virtual data center'. Last week Schneider launched the next generation of its EcoStruxure architecture and platform.
  3. Cray and Microsoft partner for deep learning.  At the 2016 Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Conference this week Cray announced the results of a deep learning collaboration between Cray, Microsoft, and the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) that expands the horizons of running deep learning algorithms at scale using the power of Cray supercomputers.  Research at CSCS utilizes the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit on a Cray XC50 with more than 1,000 NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU accelerators. 
  4. Dell EMC and VMware launch new Hyper-converged systems. Powered by VMware Cloud Foundation Dell launched the VxRack SDDC as a turnkey hyper-converged solution for both traditional and cloud-native workloads. The total lifecycle offering is built on Dell PowerEdge servers and VMware infrastructure software (vSAN, vSphere, and NSX) and VMware SDDC Manger. 
  5. Micron announces 8TB SATA SSD. Micron launched a 8TB Enterprise 5100 series solid state drive this week with random write performances up to 74k IOPS. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Data Center Links: November 23, 2016

Here are some (mostly) recent things I found interesting:

  • Green500 List of energy-efficient supercomputers. Almost as fun as the Top500 list itself. The Green500 ranks supercomputers by how energy-efficient they are. NVIDIA Corporation took the top spot with 9,462.09 MFLOPS per Watt with their DGX-1 system, using their P100 Tesla GPUs. 
  • Spray-on concrete for EMP shielding.  This just sounds cool.  A team from the University of Nebraska has created a cost-effective concrete mix that acts as a shield against "intense pulses of electromagnetic energy".
  • HP - The Machine.  HP has been running a series of posts on their vision for the future of computing - The Machine.  These posts elaborate their process to build this vision and the research behind it.
  • France's nuclear fusion reactor.  Interesting article on how countries around the world are contributing billions to the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Data Center Links: September 14, 2016

Here are some (mostly) recent things I found interesting:

  • NCSA to lead $110 million NSF project. The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a $110 million award to NCSA at the University of Illinois at Ubana-Champaign and 18 partner institutions to continue, and expand, the activities undertaken through cyberinfrastructure ecosystem XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery).
  • Google acquires Apigee.  The APIs have it. Google announced its intent to acquire API management platform leader Apigee. Apigee went public last year and gives Google some big name customers and position against other cloud rivals such as Amazon.
  • Teradata launches Teradata Everywhere. Analytics solutions company Teradata launched Teradata Everywhere, to bring its massively parallel processing (MPP) analytic database to multiple public clouds, managed cloud, and on-premises environments. Listing most of the major cloud players in that 'everywhere' statement, the comparison to note is AWS, where Teradata says (with benchmarks) it outperforms Redshift by an order of magnitude.
  • Carbon Nanotube Transistors outperform Silicon.  Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have used single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) to make a transistor that outperforms state-of-the-art silicon transistors. A Science Advances journal article notes that "researchers were able to achieve a current that is 1.9 times as fast as that seen in silicon transistors."  This video gives a primer on SWCNT and implications of the new research.
  • Rackware nets $10M financing. Enterprise cloud management company Rackware announced that they have closed on a $10 million Series B round - from Signal Peak Ventures and additional funds from Kickstart Seed Fund and Osage Venture Partners. RackWare will utilize the funding to enhance and accelerate product development and to expand sales, marketing, partnerships and customer support teams.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Data Center Links: August 31, 2016

Here are some (mostly) recent things I found interesting:

  • VMWORLD.  VMware's annual event in Las Vegas this week.  I really wanted to attend - but just couldn't ; it looks like an eventful week. Lots of news releases, conversations and partner announcements. VMworld videos can be found on their vmworld TV channel.
    • Dell to continue M&A. The now closed $67B deal for EMC just wasn't enough -- Michael Dell says the company will continue to do acquisitions.
    • Tegile launches IntelliFlash Cloud.  At VMworld Tegile introduced its IntelliFlash Cloud Platform, a rack scale all-flash platform meant to serve as the foundation of optimized, cost-effective private clouds. 
    • Nutanix acquisitions. #NutanixAtVMworld.  Lots of activity at VMworld, but just as the event was getting started Nutanix announced that PernixData and will help further the vision for an enterprise cloud by joining the Nutanix family. 
    • Virtustream and Iron Mountain join forces. Virtusteam announced that Iron Mountain will use Virtustream to power its cloud-based service offerings. Virtustream's xStream and Viewtrust software will orchestrate, automate and secure cloud storage services for IronMountain.
  • Cloud Technology Partners funding round. CTP announced the close of a Series C funding round - unknown amount. Existing investors Rackspace, State Street Bank and Pritzker Group Venture Capital participated in the round. The company will use the funding to expand cloud adoption program, expand CTP's digital innovation practice, build its managed service capabilities, and expand their sales and delivery teams.
  • Cisco acquires ContainerX. As its first venture into the container market tech giant Cisco announced its intent to acquire early stage startup ContainerX, for an undisclosed amount. ContainerX is a group of container geeks with PhDs that have a patent-pending approach called Elastic Container Clusters. 
  • Ericsson wins hybrid cloud deal. Ericsson will be the lead partner (with EMC, Telia, OpenNode and Cybernetica) to build a hybrid cloud infrastructure in Estonia. 
  • Open AI Infrastructure. The Open AI blog has a nice post on the infrastructure model used to support their deep learning research. Top-end GPUs, AWS cloud donations, Ubuntu, Chef, Kubernetes, OpenVPN and Terraform.
  • Elon Musk progressing on Neural Lace Brain hack.  This is just cool - as most things Elon does are.  On Twitter Elon Musk said that he is "making progress" on his neural lace design, which is designed to augment human intelligence.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Data Center Links, August 23, 2016

Data Center Links for 8/23/2016.

Here are some (mostly) recent things I found interesting:

  • Avere and Cycle Computing integrate for hybrid HPC in the cloud.  Avere Systems and Cycle Computing announced a technology integration that enables hybrid high performance computing in popular public cloud computing environments. By combining the CycleCloud with Avere's vFXT Edge filer users can launch an Avere tiered file system on demand linked directly with the CycleCloud managed scalable compute nodes through cloud providers like AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure.
  • U.S. DOE awards $34 million to protect power grid.  The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $34 million to help protect critical infrastructures, specifically the smart grid. The funds cover 12 projects in the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability's Cybersecurity of Energy of Delivery Systems (CEDS), and is intended to help develop new solutions to protect critical infrastructure in the energy industry.
  • U.S. approves handover of IANA to ICANN. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has approved a plan to hand control of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) contract to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN has run IANA functions - DNS, IP addresses and protocols - since incorporation in 1999. 
  • NVIDIA Parker - SoC for autonomous vehicles. At the #hotchips conference NVIDIA announced Parker, a new mobile processor that the company hopes will power the next generation of autonomous vehicles. Built around the Pascal GPU architecture and NVIDIA's Denver CPU architecture, the company says it will deliver "up to 1.5 teraflops of performance for deep learning-based self-driving AI cockpit systems." NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang delivered a supercomputer to OpenAI, a non-profit founded by Tesla's Elon Musk. 
  • SKA Science Data Processor (big data meet big compute). A prototype part of the software system to manage data from the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope has run on the Tiahnhe-2 supercomputer - currently the second best supercomputer in the world.   Deemed the world's largest science project, the SKA data processing system will ingest data from more than a quarter of a million antennas. 
  • CyrusOne and the REIT sector. Seeking Alpha has a nice look at data center REIT CyrusOne and their record leasing quarter - and a bullish thesis on the company and its future. 
  • Intel to Fab ARM.  I had to check that headline a few times - but yes, Intel Custom Foundry will now "offer access to ARM Artisan physical IP, including POP IP, based on the most advanced ARM cores and Cortex series processors. Intel also told of several foundry success stories from LG Electronics, Spreadtrum, Achronix Semiconductor, Netronome and Altera. 

Monday, August 08, 2016

Data Center Links August 8th, 2016

Ever have a 4 year battle with writer's block?  Well, I'm back...I think. I started this blog 10 years ago as a way to keep track of the endless links I logged in browsing and reading about data centers. A lot has happened since I last blogged... but I don't see any benefit to attempting to catch up here.

I think my main goal going forward in this blog is just to keep a transcript of links, stories and happenings on the web that I find interesting -- about technology or data centers. There is a decent chance I'll tweet them as well at @johnrath

Here are some (mostly) recent things I found interesting:

  • HP's The Machine:  I have followed this for a while -- but saw some fun commercials for it with the new Star Trek movie.   HP says "The Machine will reinvent the fundamental architecture of computers to enable a quantum leap in performance and efficiency.It will be interesting to watch the technology HP is developing here. 
  • Dell Triton:  Dell's Triton technology looks cool...literally.   It is a different approach to liquid cooled solutions that has some definite potential.
  • The Green Grid announced  a new metric to compliment PUE. Building on PUE, the new 'performance indicator' is a multi-metric view that enables operators to "predict the impact of proposed changes before implementation and choose configurations that deliver the best combination of efficiency, resilience and conformance for the organization."
  • kWAC anyone? This is interesting - 6fusion's Kilowatt Hour for IT, called the Workload Allocation Cube (kWAC) is a measurement that the company says includes comparisons of real-time utilization (workload) against a fixed baseline (allocation) spanning six vectors (cube) - CPU, memory, storage, disk/IO, LAN I/O, and WAN I/O. 
  • (one I'm watching) VPS (Virtual Power Systems). Their software-defined power ICE Platform applies machine learning to control data center power distribution and monitoring. 
  • CenturyLink said  they still have a focus "on the sale of all or a portion of our data centers, but we also have alternatives should our process not result in a sale."  So... if the price is right, they will sell the data center, but otherwise keep it and see what we can do with it....?   I guess there is 'realizing value for share holders' and there is seeing what comes out of a For Sale sign.
  • Here is a nice article (pictures, video) about the new Tesla Gigafactory.  I know this is for car batteries... but I think there is a long term interest for the data center, and it is just cool what has been done with this massive facility in the desert. 
  • Quasi-real time view of the U.S. Electric System Operating data.  This is just kind of fun to peruse.