Items tagged with data center

Facebook on Wednesday announced plans to build a new data center in Fort Worth, Texas. This will be the social network's fifth data center, with the other four located in Altoona, Iowa; Prineville, Oregon; Forest City, North Carolina; and Luleå, Sweden. It will be one of the most advanced, efficient, and sustainable data centers in the world, as it will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. To help make that possible, Facebook is constructing a 200-megawatt wind energy plant on 17,000 acres located about 90 miles away in Clay County. That's overshooting Facebook's needs, so spare energy will go into the local grid via Citigroup Energy, Alterra Power Corporation, and Starwood Energy Group.... Read more...
Google is coming back to the United States to build its next data center and the company has its sights on a coal plant in Alabama for the location. The data center (which is Google’s 14th, globally, in case you’re counting) will transform the aging Willow Creek power plant into a glistening installation that relies heavily (and eventually, completely) on renewable energy. Construction will begin early in 2016. The plant is expected to bring at least 100 new jobs to the area.Image credit: GoogleAs poetic as it might seem to put an environmentally-friendly data center on the site of a coal-burning power plant, it was the infrastructure that interested Google. “At Windows Creek, we can use the... Read more...
As part of its commitment to achieving 100 percent renewable energy usage for its global footprint, Amazon this week announced that it has partnered with Community Energy to build and operate an 80 megawatt solar farm in Accomack County, Virginia. They'll call it Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East and expect it to generate around 170,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of solar power each year beginning in October 2016. That's enough energy to power around 15,000 U.S. homes in a year. Amazon said it will be the largest solar farm in Virginia, but rather than use the energy it harnesses to power households, it will all go into the electrical grids that supply both current and future Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud... Read more...
Microsoft is known for being a lot of things, but "open" is something that's found at the bottom of most hypothetical lists. However, the company has been willing to make some exceptions to that rule when either internal or both internal and external benefits can be seen, and we're seeing a new example of that with the company's latest move of joining the Open Compute Project. The OCP was founded in 2011 by Facebook with the intent of building a pool of great minds (and companies as a whole) to share their data center and server designs. The goal is to increase efficiency and support the kind of accelerating scaling-up requirements we're witnessing. Any company that partakes in this project benefits... Read more...
Intel announced a pair of new products today designed to boost data center efficiency, shrink footprints, and allow for faster deployments. The first are new microservers based on the C2000 (codename: Avoton) Atom architecture. We've discussed the Bay Trail Atom core several times and Intel's plans for the technology in the mobile space, but moving the hardware into data centers is a key component of Intel's microserver strategy. Based on what we know of Bay Trail/Avoton, we expect it will offer significantly improved performance over existing S1200 Atom servers, thanks to multiple microarchitechtural improvements and the integration of a quad-core processor rather than dual-core + Hyper-Threading.... Read more...
VMworld 2013 kicked off yesterday in San Francisco, and some big names in big data are taking the opportunity to announce new products. Today, Kingston is touting its new SSDNow E50 SSDs, which are meant to be a more affordable alternative to the SSDNow E100 line. The SATA 3.0 solid-state drives come in 100GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities. In general, the E50 drives are only a little slower than the E100s. For example, the 100GB models have random 4k read/write speeds of 27,000/82,000 IOPS (for the E50) and 55,000/83,000 IOPS (for the E100). The SSDNow E50 drives have DuraWrite write-reduction technology for longevity and RAISE, which reduces uncorrectable errors. If you’re at VMworld, you... Read more...
Intel unveiled a number of new data center initiatives this week as part of its broad product strategy to redefine some of its market goals. In the past, Intel's efforts in this area have boiled down to giving customers more of what they wanted, where "more" was defined as higher clock speeds or more processing cores. That's not to imply that Intel didn't do a great deal of work on software optimization, compiler tools, or CPU fabric design -- it absolutely did -- but the pitches used to be simpler, and more hardware-focused. That's changing slowly, thanks to the growing difficulty of improving microprocessors at a rapid pace (on the one hand) and the popularity of low-power solutions on the... Read more...
Microsoft is taking the retail release of its upcoming Xbox One console seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it's committed to investing $677.7 million in a data center in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register. Dubbed "Project Mountain," the investment will help beef up Microsoft's cloud infrastructure to support products like Xbox Live and Office 365. "We are proud to watch tech leaders like Microsoft choose to make significant investments in Iowa,”" said Governor Terry Branstad. "Microsoft’s continued expansion at its West Des Moines location is a vote of confidence that our state is providing the kind of business-friendly environment that can help global companies succeed."... Read more...
Desktops and data centers are two very different beasts, and what's true of one might not be true of the other. For example, even though solid state drive (SSD) pricing has fallen dramatically in past year, it's still cheaper to equip a desktop or laptop system with a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD). The same isn't necessarily true when it comes to data centers, and if you ask IBM, the company will tell you that flash-based storage makes more economical sense at this point. How can that be? Part of the reason is because flash storage doesn't contain any moving parts, thereby making it a more reliable and durable solution, IBM says. Flash storage is also more energy efficient and doesn't require... Read more...
Like many companies, Google goes to great lengths to protect its data centers and the information that resides within them. To help maintain security, Google allows only a small number of employees access to its server floor and other areas of its data centers. While you won't be able to take an in-person tour of a Google data center anytime soon, Google has provided a really cool glimpse into its data centers around the world with beautiful pictures as well as a Street View tour of the North Carolina location. In all, Google operates 13 data centers throughout the world. Not only does Google have rows and rows of servers, but the company also strives to be energy efficient. Here, you can see... Read more...
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) kicked off the weekend by wrapping up its acquisition of server startup SeaMicro for a cool $334 million. It didn't take long to draw up the paperwork and work through the legalities of the more than quarter-of-a-billion dollar buyout, which was first announced less than four weeks ago. "Our unique fabric technology is truly one of the crown jewels of the cloud," said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager, Global Business Units, AMD. "The combination of this innovative technology with our processor design expertise greatly enhances our ability to attack the fastest growing portion of the server market with industry-leading low-power, low-cost, high-bandwidth... Read more...
Zoho, a provider of online business, productivity, and collaboration applications, experienced a brief power outage Friday, taking its products and services offline for several hours. According to Zoho’s blog, the outage began at 8:25am PST, and even when power was restored by 9:15am, the company had a lot of work to do to get its service back up and running. Various applications were restored throughout the day, beginning with its Accounts service at 10:55am, and by 6:12pm, all of Zoho’s services and applications were back up and running. Sample shot of Zoho Docs Apparently, the cause of the downtime was a power outage in California at Equinix, a colocation provider. Zoho described... Read more...
Google has kept information on its energy use a secret for years, but now the search giant is going public with the details. In a couple of blog posts, Google talks about its energy approach and links to a new “The Big Picture” page where you can learn all about it. The biggest claim the company makes is that it has zero carbon footprint, which is no small feat for a tech giant like Google whose entire company is based on online tools and services. How is this possible? Google says it uses half the electricity of a typical data center, although most of those savings come from the actual facilities and not so much the servers themselves. Additionally, 30% of the energy the company... Read more...
Data centers have a tendency to get hot under the collar, and businesses spend big bucks keeping all that hardware running cool. They'll be happy to know that Dell's new integrated data center solution has not only been validated to operate within the highest current temperature and humidity guidelines issued by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, in case you were curious), but it's warrantied as such, too. According to Dell, servers, storage, and networking equipment of the Dell Dell Fresh Air cooling solution are capable of short-term, excursion-based operation in temperatures up to 113F (45C), which is the highest temperature warrantied in mainstream... Read more...
Chalk up another Apple confirmation. Not only did we find out that March 2nd would be the day that Apple would reveal the iPad 2, and now the company is revealing that the North Carolina data center they invested in last year will be for iTunes and MobileMe. The news was confirmed during a Q&A session at a shareholder meeting, with the data center expected to become fully operational later in the spring. Very few details beyond that were available, but at least shareholders now know that Steve Jobs didn't invest in this just to store his own personal movie library. Adding more capacity for iTunes and MobileMe could mean big, big things for the future. Already, rumors have been swirling that... Read more...
It's clear that Apple believes in the cloud. Their iTunes media portal has grown to heights that were unimaginable just years back, and with Apple TV, iTunes and the upcoming Mac App Store, it's clear that Apple will need lots of storage for apps and lots of bandwidth for serving them. Apple has become a content delivery company over the years, and that's probably what encouraged them to purchase land in Maiden, North Carolina in order to build a $1 billion data center. But is a 500,000 square foot data center really enough for Apple? The company just announced last week that they would be expanding their app store to the Mac desktop and notebook platform, OS X. At first, Snow Leopard users will... Read more...
Through a project known as Aquasar, IBM researchers are working on new technologies that could drastically reduce the power consumption and carbon footprint of data centers. Aquasar involves a water-cooled supercomputer that uses 40% less energy than comparable systems that use today's air-conditioned methods.In addition to saving energy, Aquasar takes the waste heat it pulls from servers and uses the heat to help warm nearby offices. By combining these energy savings, a company's carbon footprint can be reduced by as much as 85%. The Aquasar project began one year ago as part of IBM's First-Of-A-Kind (FOAK) program. Recently, IBM delivered its first-of-a-kind hot water-cooled supercomputer to... Read more...
You've probably turned your nose up just after reading the headline. We can't blame you. We're doing the same. And in fact, we probably would have brushed this off as a hoax if it weren't coming straight from HP's own farm of press releases, so it's pretty much impossible to deny the legitimacy. HP Labs, the company's primary research arm, has just made public this week research that shows how "the manure output of cows and the heat output of data centers can be combined to create an economically and environmentally sustainable operation." Shocking? Yes. Gross? Yes. Reasonable? Definitely. The paper describes how 10000 dairy cows could fulfill the power requirements of a 1-megawatt (MW) data... Read more...
For years now, data centers have been consuming more energy than companies would care to admit. Thankfully, the "green push" has convinced a number of higher-profile firms to re-evaluate their power plans and establish new methods of energizing their servers. IBM is a huge proponent of energy efficient server farms, and it seems as if Yahoo! is hoping to one-up even it in an effort to create one of the greenest data centers on the planet.Parking a new center near the raging waters of Niagara Falls in New York gives Yahoo! a distinct advantage: it has loads of consistant green power just across the street. Working in tandem with officials in Buffalo, NY, Yahoo! is hoping to make its future NY-based... Read more...
Earlier this month Google sponsored a conference on data center efficiency where they showed by example how to achieve the most processing power while consuming the least amount of electricity. This is quite an about-face for Google as previously they have been notoriously secretive about their data centers and server infrastructure. Since its inception Google has chosen to forego purchasing servers from Dell, IBM, and HP like other data centers usually do and instead has employed the use of custom built servers. All of the servers at Google data centers have been designed internally to their custom specifications and assembled by Google employees. Google's newfound willingness to share their... Read more...
In the last few years Virtualization has gone from a buzzword to a platform of choice in the world of Information Technology. Consumers already reap its benefits on a day to day basis as Banks, Internet Service Providers, online merchants, and many other companies have adopted the technology all the while transparent to the end user. The reasons why virtualization is attractive to companies are many but, to put it succinctly, it all boils down to efficiency which then translates to lower cost and higher availability.Just as the mighty transistor has shrunken down to sub-micron sizes over the years, so goes the data center. Less server sprawl does indeed equal more efficiency when virtualization... Read more...
Underneath Stockholm, deep in the bedrock exists a data center better than any high tech lair Hollywood could probably dream up. Bahnhof, one of Sweden's largest ISP's has created a bunker of high tech goodness that is surely to astound. The facility is called Pionen and once you get past the 16 inch thick entrance doors into the once nuclear bunker now converted to a data center, the spectacular sights that await are simply breathtaking. Replete with waterfalls, greenhouses, German submarine backup engines, and simulated daylight this facility has the added benefit of being able to withstand an almost direct hit by a hydrogen bomb.The space Pionen now occupies was originally built during the... Read more...
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