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Reliability & Availability

My friends at Rackwise (RACK.OB),have just won another DCIM deal with Sandia National Laboratories to install and deploy Rackwise  in Sandia’s multiple data centers located at its principal facilities.   Sandia is a multi-program engineering and science laboratory operated and managed by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of […]

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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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Google has the most amazingly clear terms of service for their cloud products.  The terms are take it or leave it, no promises, no commitments and no come-back. I love the statement that there is no warrant that the quality of services will meet your expectations. It’s a gem.   Thanks to Harqs Singh for […]

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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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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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I attended a very interesting dinner event recently at The Boxwood Cafe in London hosted by Andrew Barnes from Neverfail. The objective was to have a discussion about Disaster Recovery and the implications for IT and business. It was a very well attended event with some great input from the CIO and IT Director attendees. Sarah […]

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There is cloud and then there is cloud. Cloud with take it or leave it service levels or cloud with service availability that supports the UK’s emergency services (911, 999, 112). I know about this life or death service level because a few years back I actually ran the BT IT operational department that supported 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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I recently chaired a very interesting panel debate and discussion Hosted By BLADE Network Technologies in London. The panel was made up of: Harkeeret (Harqs) Singh, Global Head Data Centre Energy Optimisation, Thomson Reuters Finlay MacLeod, VP IT Infrastructure, EMEA, First Data Corp Charles Ferland, VP of EMEA, BLADE Network Technologies Brian Peterson, VP International […]

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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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Anyone following the news will have seen that Verari and Cisco are working closely together on developing the highest density UCS deployment so far. My friend Dan Gatti at Verari just sent over the latest photograph from the Verari manufacturing plant. A FOREST Data Center Scale container full of UCS and Nexus. This really demonstrates […]

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I posed the question about why readers of the hot aisle were running more than one hypervisor. An earlier poll had shown that 44% of respondants behave in a non-intuitive way and run two or more hypervisors. Early results are in – with a poll size of 1021 1141 readers and discounting those who only […]

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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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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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For some time I have been working on and thinking about a Data Center Efficiency Maturity Model to help us poor operational folks work out just how well or badly we are doing on a scale of one to five. I have also been doing some thinking about a Continuous Migration Architecture (CMA) that recognizes […]

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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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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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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 took these photographs a bit over two years ago at the BT Reuters Data Center in Nutley New Jersey. They show a large CRAC Unit in the process of being installed. Note the copper piping, solder joints, open floor void and general mess that is involved in installation and commissioning. This is not something […]

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