Thursday, November 09, 2006

Data center editorial on the road continues

This week I'm reporting from the City by the Bay -- San Fran. Right now I'm sitting in the Web2.0 Summit. Marissa Mayer, Google's product management leader on search products [pictured below] is currently presenting on the engineering behind Gmail.

I'll be hooking up some audio content from the conference for Alex Howard at on this mega-trendy event. I wasn't actually invited -- I bogarted my press pass from Jeff Kelly at

While there isn't much data center specific news, I am picking up some good information on blogging and other social media. I met an engineer from Intel that is attending the event to learn more about blogging. Intel plans to use blogs to extend support to software developers.

I also stopped by to talk to The company is here to promote its new Web services offering, something competitive to Sun Grid. Check out a recent BusinessWeek article on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Later today I'll be meeting with eBay to talk about how that company is dealing with power issues in its data center. Tomorrow, I'll be stopping by the offices of PG&E to learn more about how they're dealing with the problem. Look for those stories early next week.

Also, our news director Alex Barrett has been at VMworld all week. Check out SearchServerVirtualization's special report on the event.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Server efficiency metrics: Who should publish them?

I'm working on a follow up story to the recent finalization of the server efficiency metric. And in the spirit of Election Day I'm putting this to a vote!

The basic premise: The EPA and a group of engineers got together over the past year to decide HOW to measure energy efficiency against performance on 1-2 U servers. But no one has stated where these numbers will be published. The EPA says it is encouraging vendors to provide numbers business-to-business to customers, but it would also welcome a publicly available side-by-side comparison from a third party.

I'm taking a poll of experts and participants to find out what organization should do the testing and publish the info.

Would you be willing to venture an opinion as to which of these groups below, if any, would be best suited for publishing side by side comparative data on the various server models? And why?

Who should publish the information?
  • AFCOM (Data center manager's professional association)
  • ASHRAE (Cooling engineers, data center metrics already under their belt)
  • LBNL (Lawrence Berkley National Labs -- already studying data center efficiency)
  • IBM/HP/Sun, et al (publish their own numbers)
  • IDC/Forrester-sized analyst firm
  • Uptime Institute
  • Infrastructure vendor (APC or Liebert for example)
  • EPA/Energy Star
  • SPEC (already working on its own efficiency standard, supposed to harmonize with this EPA standard next year)
  • PG&E

    And would it be free to the public or is this the kind of research people are going to have to pay for?

  • Thursday, November 02, 2006

    365 Main data center tour photos

    I recently toured hosting company 365 Main's data center in downtown San Francisco. These are the photos from the tour. You can also check out the article about the facility that ran today.

    From ITPICS

    One of 86 base isolators located in the parking garage area below the 365 Main facility. For an interesting article on base isolation technology, check out USC's Viterbi school of engineering's publication.

    From ITPICS

    Two feet of slack in the wiring allows the bedrock to shift without pulling out the wires while the building remains stationary.

    From ITPICS

    The secure loading dock.

    From ITPICS

    Raised floor and cages that separate customers' racks.

    From ITPICS

    VESDA: Very early smoke detection system

    From ITPICS

    The Super Mario Bros. room.

    From ITPICS

    Each of the 10 Hitec generators at 365 Main cost $1 million.