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IT Operations

I received a very interesting press release from IBM about a new PureSystems installation in South America that is worthy of comment because it emphasises one of the key value propositions of converged platforms, agility. Converged, integrated systems can be configured and delivered extremely quickly and in point of fact the IBM platform is particularly […]

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In an attempt to reduce cost or improve performance at scale, some organizations are introducing low functionality, shared or cloned desktop operating systems within their virtual desktop environment. This article sets out to show that this approach is flawed, is simultaneously limiting and unnecessary and that it increases operational risk and reduces agility. New developments […]

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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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Not all business applications are equal. Some are high profile, visible and customer experience affecting. For a bank, the ATM systems, card processing platforms and Internet banking applications generally fall into this category. In my book “What Every CIO Wants“, I call these Invest category applications. Behind the scenes there are hundreds, sometimes thousands of […]

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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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I interviewed Ron Bianchini CEO of Avere Systems about their new third generation FXT appliance. (Ron was the CEO of Spinnaker Networks acquired by NetApp in November 2003 for $300M). We started the conversation by looking at the key values of Spinnaker, it’s ability to scale and cluster NAS filers, a technology long since incorporated […]

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Globally the annual mid-market (companies with fewer than 1000 staff) spend for IT hardware, software and services exceeds $250B acording to Andy Monshaw, IBM’s General Manager for Mid-Market.  Andy lives and breathes mid-market, he personally leads as many as 15 end user and IBM partner round tables a month, spending his time listening to customer problems and getting intimately […]

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Last night a few friends (IT Operations Geeks like me) and I had a great “Brains Trust” event at the OXO Tower in London. The topic was a continuation of the last Hot Aisle blog entry Why do we try to solve backup when restore is the problem?  Apart from the food, view and wine […]

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I have been thinking about data storage and protection recently and how our behaviour is driving massive growth in cost and complexity.  The issue seems to eminate from the fact that we focus on solving backup when the real problem is restoring data: We need to be able to deal with data corruption and incorrectly […]

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Yesterday Chris Leahy (my Technical Facilities Manager) and I were agonising over why we had low plenum pressure in our Data Center and why we were seeing symptoms of hot air trapped in the roof void. We looked at all the normal stuff: Leaks in the plenum space Badly sealed floor Cable access holes improperly […]

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I don’t normally plug press releases straight from vendors but today I received an email from Emily Wood at Google with a message that I agree 100% with. Cooling data centers is not just about refrigeration – there are lots of options – many of which we have written about here on The Hot Aisle […]

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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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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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Next week, Iceotope will announce that it has developed, patented and manufactured an extreme IT equipment cooling solution.  The solution tackles the problems of cooling servers in data centres all the way from the actual source of the heat – at the processor and memory component level – to its final destination – outside air by […]

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Google Docs now has a batch export facility for their documents created by the Data Liberation Front, a Google team setup to help customers leave. “Imagine you want to move out of your apartment. When you ask your landlord about the terms of your previous lease, he says that you are free to leave at […]

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A recent Hot Aisle poll about the use of hypervisor technology in enterprises offers some interesting insights. 96% of respondents use at least one hypervisor 44% of respondents use two or more hypervisors 16% of respondents use three or more hypervisors 98% of Hot Aisle readers know what a Hypervisor is (we are a smart […]

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I met up with my old friend Martin Williams yesterday; he is CEO of a startup company called ATOV.  Apparently AtoV means Anarchy to Visualisation, which is exactly what they do. Some firms have limited instrumentation to monitor their IT systems, some firms even have a Command Centre or Bridge Operations to react to outages […]

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The Storage Area Network (SAN) is now a key component of most reasonably sized IT Infrastructures. The SAN we rely on today evolved from very humble beginnings into a mission critical Enterprise IT component. The first SANs were introduced to handle small numbers of enterprise scale systems (zSeries and iSeries computers from IBM) being connected […]

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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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For some time I have been saying that a real IT shop would be ill advised to attempt consolidation to a single hypervisior. Why? My sense is that we have two types of workload, the mission critical, drives the business applications and services that cannot fail. These are the Fedex Logistics platform, the eBay portal, […]

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I have just finished a call with Adam Hawley, Oracle’s Director of VM Product Management, the guy who owns the whole Oracle Virtualization story and technology. It got me thinking about the Hypervisor marketplace, the players, product strengths and weaknesses as well as ability to execute. My colleage and friend, Mark Bowker (the Virtualization Guru) […]

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Over the last few months I have been thinking about data centers, how we power and cool them and what we put in them. I’ve been looking at what the very largest consumers of IT infrastructure do with their data centers compared to industry norms. The first take away is that almost none of them conform […]

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I am old enough to remember the 1960′s when IBM Mainframes used de-ionized water delivered by micro-bore pipes to cool the CPUs. (In fact I remember a spillage during a mainframe move that resulted in every single auto spares shop in south east England being raided for deionized water). In a recent statement IBM claim that […]

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I spend a lot of time thinking about data centers and how to make them better, more efficient, more reliable, higher performance , easier to maintain and cheaper to run. Lots of very smart and experienced people have been doing the same for many years and whilst there is no single, agreed best practice, model […]

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Cloud computing changes things, it makes administration and management of an X.86 environment easier and more automated. But until now the real goodies of VMWare’s product set, VMotion and VSphere have been limited to the small number of organizations that can afford to install a SAN. You see shared storage is a necessity in VMWare’s […]

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