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Electrical Systems

I just finished writing an interesting white paper on Data Center Infrastructure Management for Rackwise Inc.  DCIM is not all about cost, although we would be remiss not to take the significant cost advantages available by properly managing our data center estate. The white paper picks up on a number of key themes in Data […]

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Looks are deceiving, and in the data center they can be confusing. If you are doing a good job your Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) might get worse! Energy consumption in the data center is the result of two interactions: the cumulative IT Load from all the information technology hardware combined with the facility power and cooling […]

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If you have been following the storage business for a while, you will have noticed a few changes: Introduction of Flash Memory components as Solid State Disks Serial ATA (SATA) disks becoming popular and growing in capacity (2TB soon) There are lots of other disk technologies around like Fibre Channel and SAS but SSD and […]

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Around this time, analysts at ESG pull together a ten point list of predictions for the coming year. One of my areas of coverage and of expertise is in the Data Center around power, cooling, reliability and economics. So what’s different this year from prior years? Strengthening fundamental drivers will likely make 2010 materially different […]

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Back in 2008, Steve O’Donnell wrote an article here on The Hot Aisle explaining one of the challenges he set his team during his time at BT, the difficult task of getting Asset Management right. To summarise, Steve kicked off an audit of the whole estate, and where owners couldn’t be found for kit on the […]

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Here is a video from my friend Professor Masood Amin @Massoud_Amin who is the world authority on Smart Grid. If we want to save the planet from global warming, prevent terrorists shutting down our economy and prevent catastrophic failure of our power distribution systems. This is the template of what we need to do and […]

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For years I have been a prolific photographer of Data Centres all over the world. I have hundreds of images, some brilliant, some out of focus and under-exposed, (I am a data centre guy, not  a professional photographer).  I thought that I might publish some of the better ones with a bit of narrative about […]

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Recently The Hot Aisle conducted an online survey asking the question – “How do you currently choose where to place equipment in your data centre?” As usual we got a very large response to the survey with 5,580 respondants. The results are in and it shows quite clearly that equipment placement is (to say the […]

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  From the coal or oil delivered to the power station all the way through to the energy that drives our business applications the efficiency story is woeful.

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Sometimes the IT business and technology in general gets it right by looking back into history for sensible solutions to intractable problems. By combining modern engineering with old designs we get something extremely smart. To provide stay up power whilst our engines get up to speed we can now use flywheel technology to store kinetic […]

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I am on the West Coast of the US this week visiting with NetApp in Sunnyvale again. On this trip I had the opportunity to visit a couple of NetApp’s internal data centers (B11 and the impressive B2 sites) with Cesar Orosco, NetApp on NetApp IT Architect. Cesar is charged with using NetApp technology in […]

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It’s a pretty good question given the perilous state of the US power distribution network, the ever increasing load and the ever increasing dependance (around the world) for US based IT and network systems. My friend Professor Massoud Amin (the global authority on what is wrong and how to fix it) is running a free […]

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I was delighted to hear today that my friends, David Wright (CEO) and David Driggers (CTO) at Verari Systems have been recognized for their great work on driving Data Center energy efficiency. For some time it has been apparent that the modular, containerized data center holds huge promise: Ability to deploy new capacity extremely rapidly Ability […]

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. concerns about the potential for cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure extended to the American electrical power grid on Wednesday and experts pointed the finger anew at Chinese hackers, among others. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told reporters the power grid is vulnerable to potentially disabling computer attacks, while declining to comment […]

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We have all been doing this – buy some new light bulbs, screw them in, and save the planet – simple. It was until I picked up an interesting article in today’s New York Times: A lot of people these days are finding the new compact fluorescent bulbs anything but simple. Consumers who are trying them say […]

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Look for bulbs with the Energy Star label, which indicates they meet at least minimal performance requirements. Be aware that compact fluorescents can take one to three minutes to reach full brightness. This is not a defect. The place where people are most likely to use compact fluorescents, closets, may be a poor choice. Experts at […]

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The BBC reports today that state supported and practical steps are being taken to train the young solar and wind power engineers of the future. The guys who install and maintain wind turbines and solar panels. In Tehachapi, California, it can feel like four seasons in one day. In this remote corner between the Sierra Nevada […]

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I met with David Wright from Verari yesterday and we were talking about high density computing and power particularly about Verari’s data center in a container product. That got us to talking about power distribution problems and the fact that some of the big firms have been buying up sites in old US steel towns […]

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Last year I spoke to Ron Croce COO of Validus DC Systems about their unique approach to Data Center power provision. He and I both share strong backgrounds in power engineering and the certain knowledge that the way that data centers are powered today is fundamentally flawed. Today’s data centers take power from the grid […]

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Last quarter, Google posted information about the efficiency of Google data centers and promised to update this information every quarter. They have now kept that promise and published the collected data for the fourth quarter of 2008 to sustainable computing website. Here are the rules: The data center has to have been Google designed (many are colocation […]

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This might be controversial, but yes we should allow cellphones into the Data Center. Here’s the thinking behind the answer. Way, way back many enterprise data center operators were having huge problems with Sun SPARC I servers, like the Sun 4500, unexplained crashes, hang-ups and other strange events. At the same time rumors started circulation […]

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I am a member of the IEEE and receive a great magazine called IEEE Spectrum in the mail. A recent article describes the incredibly advanced thinking within the US Department of Defence on Energy conservation. Why are the DoD so interested in saving the planet? As usual it is driven by economics: Every $10 increase […]

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This is a picture of the corridor around the I.Net Data Center in Milan showing much of the M&E equipment that is normally housed within the data center hall located outside. So what are the benefits? Equipment can be maintained, filters changed etc.. without entering the raised floor area. Any heat load from the equipment […]

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One of the things that prompted me to write about CHP and Biomass was an email I received from a colleague, Howard Pheby of 5 nines. Howard, and his partner Paul Foskett, are announcing their plans to build a new data center complex co-located with a Biomass Plant just up the road from my home […]

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As we have been discussing CHP and Biomass Power Stations recently, I though that it might be interesting to explore this subject in more detail. I live in East Anglia in England, a largely agricultural area that is leading the way in Biomass electricity production, so this is a matter of local interest for me. […]

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