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All Posts Tagged With: "Problems"

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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There are a lot of them around, Data Centres. A few of them are designed and operated very well and deliver great Power Usage Efficiency. Some could do a bit better, perhaps an airside economiser or two, or some hot or cold aisle containment, or maybe some DC power. Some are just a nightmare and […]

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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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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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Everyone I speak to in the industry agrees that IT components are getting harder to integrate. It’s not a new issue, this complexity, it’s just got harder and harder over the years to make sense of how everything should plug together. So when I speak to friends in the industry who are faced with delivering […]

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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 just picked up a neat blog post by Martin Glassborow (@storagebod) discussing a double disk failure in a RAID 5 array which (apparently) caused lost data. RAID is Redundant Array of Independent Disks and the number refers to the type of protection offered. RAID 5 means that there is an extra disks in the […]

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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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The hypervisor is the new critical area of focus in the cloud. Enterprises cannot afford to adopt a “single hypervisor solution fits all” approach yet they do need to  understand and manage the many problems and issues that this outcome exposes. Early virtualization adopters will have a large VMware ESX estate largely accomodating the massive unstructured […]

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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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We are all trying to fix the unfixable in the Data Centre. How do we get more cooling capacity from sites we built a decade ago for low power density applications? One of the biggest problems is that everyone is trying to work against a basic law of physics; hot air rises, and cold air […]

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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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Sometimes religious leaders say stupid things, sometimes they say dangerous things, often they are irrelevant and out of touch. Rowan Williams is a religious leader who quite obviously gets it. Here’s how the BBC reported on his views on climate change and the impact of doing nothing. Brilliant, quite brilliant. God will not intervene to […]

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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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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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  Often the simplest ideas are the best. People wandering around the data center with mucky shoes can spread dust and other contaminants that can be sucked into the airflow and end up causing problems. These adhesive floor mats located at all entry points into the data center are designed to capture the general filth […]

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I got an email this afternoon, from a great friend of mine and fellow blogger Jonathan Davis of DNS Europe that I wanted to share with the readers of The Hot Aisle. Jonathan and I used to work together – twice actually – (Coopers & Lybrand and Message Central). I took him on as a […]

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  I found this bottle of Port in one of my local restaurants (Nandos in Norwich) and had to take a photograph. My family (and the rest of the diners) thought I was completely mad. Old Invalid Port just tickled my sense of humor and made me remember how many implementation issues have been because […]

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Today we are going to look at how fire detection systems can be used in Data Centers to prevent catastrophic loss and damage; we will focus on Very Early Smoke Detection Systems, (VESDA – Very Early Smoke Detection Alarm). Without an efficient and safe environment, there is no way to be assured of business continuity. […]

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One of the strangest things about IT people is that they often miss the obvious until it is explained to them (sometimes with the aid of a hammer). We are all so used to following the rules and doing what everyone else does. This particularly applies to IT Operations, also known as the Command Centre […]

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The Daily Mail reports that a UK Government investigation was launched after the personally identifiable information (PII) of more than a million bank customers was found on a computer sold on eBay. Highly sensitive information on American Express, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers was found on the disk array sold for £35.88 (about […]

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A neat photograph of a set of gas cylinders containing Inergen that are used as part of a data center fire suppression system. Recently I had an unplanned gas discharge at one of my data centers in the north of England. $140,000 of lost gas and a real pain. Lesson learnt is don’t allow trucks […]

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It’s not a new phenomenon, Sun did it over a decade ago with the 4500 range of servers that vent hot air left to right rather than front to back but it doesn’t make it any easier to run a complex site when major vendors like Cisco continue to insist on breaking the front to back […]

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If, like most of us, you use a diesel generator as a backup power source during electrical outages, you need to understand something about Data Center engines and how to keep them running sweetly, starting automatically and reliably. It is horribly career limiting to spend your shareholders money on some equipment that you only need once every […]

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A week ago I wrote a glowing report of the technology behind the Mosso Hosting Cloud and how it was high capacity and fault tolerant. Well, I had a MySQL database outage today causing The Hot Aisle to go off the air for a few minutes. Very poor show, lets see what Mosso and Rackspace […]

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