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    Thursday
    Apr152010

    Social Security Administration picks the wrong data center site, mistakes in power costs, telecommunications access, and cost of construction

    This would be funny, if it wasn’t a potential $500 million data center built by the US Gov’t by the Social Security Administration. The Office of Inspector General caught the error.

    In particular, when developing the mandatory selection criteria, it does not appear that consideration was given to the serious fiscal impact that exclusions would have in the electrical power cost arena over the life cycle of the data center. Finally, in evaluating the telecommunications criteria concepts, SeBS found only limited information.

    SeBS, Strategic e-Business Solutions uses system engineering techniques.

    Service Offering: Systems Engineering Services
    · Provide full range of system engineering support for aerospace and telecommunication systems including manned and unmanned aircraft, satellites, shipboard systems and fixed facility installations.
    · Oversea engineering change requests, conduct systems acceptance testing, test and evaluation and system IV&V.
    · Develop Performance based specification for obtaining resources to perform customer service support services from the vendor community.
    · · Provide full lifecycle support in requirement development and validation. 

    From the reading the report, it seems like the SSA site selection team became obsessed with a few criteria that are uptime risks (man-made and natural disasters), and who cares about the power bill or whether there is access to fiber.  And, SSA picked a site that was hard to build a data center.

    SeBs evaluation found that in general, the Social Security Administration (SSA) developed a highly sophisticated set of selection criteria with which to evaluate general geographic areas of consideration and prospective individual properties. The Agency’s decision criteria avoided major areas that potentially are hazardous to the operation of a data center (including both natural and man-made risks). In addition, the criteria define major site and data center construction issues that would ultimately have a significant impact on the site
    property to be selected. However, questions remain concerning SSA's process employed in narrowing the site properties down to a short list. In addition, the initial mandatory selection criteria applied to the geographic regions under consideration may have excluded too many locales.

    SSA accepted 22 of 25 recommendations from SeBs.

    I wonder who the original vendor was who consulted the SSA for site selection.

    Thanks to the folks at DataCenterDynamics reported on this issue, and I found the SSA OIG document.

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Apr152010

    Equinix CTO 10 year perspective, data center changes in highly connected Internet services

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Equinix's CTO David Pickut as part of Equinix reaching its 50th data center.

    Equinix Opens 50th Premier IBX Data Center

    Equinix’s 50th IBX Data Center Opens in London; Will Help Company Service Global Demand From Financial Services Firms and Cloud Service Providers

    FOSTER CITY, CA and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – March 30, 2010 – Equinix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX), a provider of global data center services, today announced a major company milestone: the opening of its 50th premier International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center. This announcement demonstrates Equinix’s ability to help its customers fully leverage all of the benefits of an interconnected world.

    If you are not familiar with David here is some background.

    David Pickut

    David Pickut

    Chief Technology Officer

    Dave Pickut joined Equinix in 2004 and served in several roles before settling into his current role as Chief Technology Officer. Prior to joining Equinix, Mr. Pickut held Vice President positions with a Tier 1 ISP and an IT products/services company, with responsibilities for data center operations and business management. His engineering experience encompasses both consulting services and product design related to mission-critical data center power, cooling, security, controls, and fire protection systems.

    Mr. Pickut received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State University and is a registered professional engineer, a member of the IEEE and NFPA.

    The perspective I was looking for is David's view of the past 10 years and what the future looks like. Over the past 10 years, Dave has seen three big changes in data centers.

    1. Energy density in racks has gone up.
    2. Energy Efficiency awareness has increased.
    3. Transition from stand alone data center mindset to highly connected data centers.

    This is best illustrated by drawings David provided.  Here is what data centers looked like 10 years ago.

    image

    And this is what data center design looks like it 2010

    image

    Note in the upper left of each of these slides the external forces affecting data centers. This is proof I was looking for that Equinix is on the right path to Green (low carbon) Data Centers.

    The mass media industry will cover Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple data centers.  But, here is a simple way to understand the future of data centers.  David and I chatted about many more things regarding the future 10 years, and he said it is easy to build energy efficient cost effective data centers.  The hard part is accounting for the accelerating rate of external factors that now affect data center design.  Those who put their "head in the sand" and geek out are setting themselves up for unexpected reactions like Greenpeace's focus on Facebook's coal powered data center.

    Facebook Responds on Coal Power in Data Center

    February 17th, 2010 : Rich Miller

    An architectural rendering of the new Facebook data center planned for Prineville, Oregon.

    Facebook has responded to growing criticism of its power choices for its new data center in Prineville, Oregon. This is one of the first cases in which a data center’s energy sourcing has attracted this kind of public attention, but it won’t be the last. 

    I am looking forward to more posts on what Equinix is doing, and their willingness to share ideas, and what the future of data centers look like.  In 2010, there is SaaS, Cloud Provider, Ethernet Exchange, and Mobile Carrier.  Can you imagine what 2020 will look like?

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Apr152010

    Apr 29, 2010 deadline for NY St Data Center Energy Efficiency Leadership Award

    There are two more weeks to submit for NYSERDA's data center energy efficiency leadership award.  Here are the details.

    2010 New York State Data Center Energy Efficiency Leadership Award

    spacer

    The 2010 New York State Data Center Energy Efficiency Leadership Award, sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recognizes an organization within New York State that demonstrates leadership in pursuing policies and projects that promote data center energy efficiency. New York State data centers’ energy consumption is equal to the energy consumption of nearly 700,000 single family homes per year – 4.5 billion kilowatt hours. According to Lawrence Berkley National Laboratories, if this trend continues, energy consumption by servers and data centers is forecasted to double over the next three to five years.

    The winning organization and its project will be showcased at the Uptime Institute Symposium on May 19, 2010 in New York City and will be highlighted on the NYSERDA website. The award recipient has the exclusive right to identify itself as the award recipient on its public relations and marketing materials.

    DESCRIPTION

    The New York State Data Center Energy Efficiency Leadership Award will be presented to an organization that demonstrates leadership in pursuing policies and projects that promote the efficient use of energy in its data center. The winner of this award will serve as a model within New York State of an organization that is dedicated to sustainable, efficient load growth in its data center.

    ELIGIBILITY

    The winning organization’s policies and/or projects must be implemented in a data center that is located in New York State. The award will be presented at the Uptime Institute Symposium on May 19, 2010 in New York City. A representative from the award recipient’s organization should be available to attend the Symposium on May 19th.

    I'll be looking at what gets submitted as I am part of the evaluation panel, but I will not be at Uptime Institute Symposium award ceremony this year.  I was at Uptime last year as a blogger, and got an interesting view from a media perspective. 

    Different perspectives help you see what is of value to others.  I regularly am amazed at how easy this is for me to shift, but I can lose people as I bounce from different perspectives.  Luckily the people I interact with often know my brain is running free form.  And, part of what organizes my thoughts is writing this blog.

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Apr142010

    GreenM3 search results "dan barber fish farming" example of search engine optimization

    Part of running www.greenm3.com blog is to understand how successfully I can write content that has high Google search results.  I am surrounded by Microsoft friends where I live, and people regularly ask why I don't use Bing search.  Because over 90% of my search comes from Google.

    image

    And my top browser traffic is from Firefox.

    image

    Which are interesting insights into the technical audience for my blog.

    Mobile is small traffic, but interesting distribution.

    image

    I had fun writing the blog post on Dan Barber's Sustainable Farming.  Yes, I have fun writing some entries which is why I write so much. :-)  When I first wrote the entry I realized I was behind the curve.  The TED video had gone live Mar 10, 2010 and there were multiple media/bloggers who wrote about Dan's video.  My post went live on Mar 26, 2010, two weeks after others.  And, when I checked on Google search, I was buried down in 4th page of 10 results.

    But, today I just got this Google Search, making it up to spot #8.

    image

    Which is kind of mind blowing that my one post beats so many other professional media sites.The traffic from you is what drove my Google Search ranking up.  I had about 800 views/hits over the past 2 1/2 weeks.   On average, I get about 400 views/hits per post.

    image 

    One site with more details on the fish farm Dan Barber references is on Monterey Bay Aquarium's blog.

    The Future of Fish Farming?

    It's a story that almost sounds too good to be true -- except that it is true, and it says a lot about the kind of world we're creating for ourselves. It's a world we can live in, for the long term.

    Flamingo

    I first heard the tale from chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill during theSustainable Foods Institute we put on last month at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He described his delight in touring a multi-species aquaculture farm in Spainthat is a seamless part of a wetland restoration project in the Guadalquivir Marshes of Andalusia. Where the farmers produce abundant, high-quality seafood -- sea bass, bream, red mullet and shrimp -- AND where predators like flocks of flamingos are welcomed as a sign that the ecosystem is flourishing.

    The Vera La Palma web site is here.

    image

    www.time.com has an article on Sustainable Aquaculture.

    A ABEND / ISLA MAYOR Monday, Jun. 15, 2009

    Click here to find out more!

    CHANNELING NATURE: Veta la Palma pumps estuary water into rehabilitated wetlands

    Daniel Perez for TIME

    It is rare for a farmer to appreciate the predators that eat the animals he raises. But Miguel Medialdea is hardly an ordinary farmer. Looking out on to the carpet of flamingos that covers one of the lagoons that make up Veta la Palma, the fish farm in southern Spain where he is biologist, Medialdea shrugs. "They take about 20% of our annuel yield," he says, pointing at a blush-colored bird as it scoops up a sea bass. "But that just shows the whole system is working."

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1902751,00.html#ixzz0l7yJldTZ

    Thanks again for visiting GreenM3 blog.

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Apr142010

    What is behind the Adobe vs. Apple feud?

    I have been meaning to write this post, and news just got hotter with the latest news that Adobe is preparing to sue Apple.

    Adobe vs. Apple is going to get uglier

    You think things are bad now between Apple and Adobe? Just wait until the lawsuit.

    207 comments | 36I like it!
    Tags: Adobe, Apple, developer, flash, ipad, iPhone, iPod

    April 12, 2010, 05:36 PM —

    Usually I write about security here, but Apple's iron-bound determination to keep Adobe Flash out of any iWhatever device is about to blow up in Apple's face. Sources close to Adobe tell me that Adobe will be suing Apple within a few weeks.

    It was bad enough when Apple said, in effect, that Adobe Flash wasn't good enough to be allowed on the iPad. But the final straw was when Apple changed its iPhone SDK (software development kit) license so that developers may not submit programs to Apple that use cross-platform compilers.

    Below is more information, but I want to put my thoughts up here on what is behind the Adobe vs. Apple feud.  Apple's business is built on a closed system approach to its hardware and software.  Adobe's approach is cross platform technologies.  Adobe's history of postscript, type 1 fonts, Acrobat, and Mac/Win app development have targeted customers who need to work across different systems.  Postscript and Type 1 fonts worked because you could use the same postscript on Mac/Windows desktops, then on your high end printers.  This Adobe strategy also made it so their IP was owned by them to sell to others who wanted to be compatible with Apple printers and hardware, eventually bringing an end to the Apple LaserWriter as Apple couldn't compete.

    Building on the success of the original LaserWriter, Apple developed many further models. Later LaserWriters offered faster printing, higher resolutions, Ethernet connectivity, and eventually color output. To compete, many other laser printer manufacturers licensed Adobe PostScript for inclusion into their own models. Eventually the standardization on Ethernet for connectivity and the ubiquity of PostScript undermined the unique position of Apple’s printers: Macintosh computers functioned equally well with any Postscript printer. After the LaserWriter 8500, Apple discontinued the LaserWriter product line.

    Steve Jobs has learned this lesson well, and knows what happens if he lets Adobe's cross platform technologies into Apple products.  Steve's made his decision.  Adobe Flash will not ship on the iPhone as he can see what happened with postscript.  In addition, Steve has provided technical reasons why Adobe Flash is not appropriate for the iPhone, but if he really wanted Flash he couldn't he work with Adobe to address the technical issues?

    Steve jobs has slammed Flash.

    by Erica Ogg

    Jobs iPad Flash

    Jobs using the iPad, sans any support for Adobe Flash.

    (Credit: James Martin/CNET)

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly continued his campaign against Adobe's Flash video technology, this time at a meeting with The Wall Street Journal, according to a report in Valleywag.

    People who were at a recent meeting Jobs had with some of the paper's executives told the Gawker-owned sitethat Jobs dismissed Flash as "a CPU hog," full of "security holes," and "old technology" and would therefore not be including the technology on the iPad, or presumably, the iPhone. (Adobe did recently promise to make theMac version of its browser plug-in faster.)

    It's not the first time we've heard this. At an Apple shareholder meeting two years ago Jobs explained why Flash wouldn't be on the iPhone any time soon. He told those present that the full-blown PC Flash version "performs too slow to be useful" on the iPhone, and that the mobile version--Flash Lite--"is not capable of being used with the Web."

    The following reminds of the frustration at Apple and Microsoft when we cussed about Adobe Type Manager (ATM) crashing the OS. (I worked on both the Mac and Windows OS while at Apple and Microsoft.)

    More recently, word leaked out from Apple's employee-only meeting after the iPad introduction that Jobs had slammed Flash. According to a report on Wired, he responded to an employee question that "whenever a Mac crashes, more often than not, it's because of Flash," and that "no one will be using Flash. The world is moving to HTML5."

    The little piece of irony is Google believes HTML5 is key to mobile growth as well.

    This is starting to feel like a feud similar to the Hatfields vs. McCoys.  Although a more modern term is a smackdown.


    Steve Jobs hates Adobe Flash: iPhone 4.0 SDK lockdown smackdown

    9 comments

    Ouch. Looks like writing apps in Flash is verboten, according to the latest iPhone OS 4.0 SDK legal language. CS5 and other cross-compilers could be dead in the water. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers uncover more proof that Steve Jobs hates Adobe.

    By Richi Jennings. April 9, 2010.
    (AAPL) (ADBE)

    He's back: your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention Michelle Obama's biggest fear...
    Cade Metz has met the enemy, and it's Adobe, apparently:

    Apple's new SDK for the iPhone ... will likely prevent ... Adobe's upcoming Flash ... development suite from converting Flash scripts into native Jesus Phone apps. ... Apple's iPhone SDK has always said that "applications may only use Documented APIs." ... But Steve Jobs and company have now tacked on a few additional sentences.
    ...
    It would appear that Steve Jobs has landed another blow against ... Adobe. ... Steve Jobs has already barred untranslated Flash from the iPhone and the iPad, calling it "buggy," littered with security holes, and a "CPU hog."more

    John Gruber is widely credited with breaking the news:

    My reading of this new language is that cross-compilers ... are prohibited. This also bans apps compiled using MonoTouch. ... The folks at Appcelerator realize ... that they might be out of bounds withTitanium. Ansca’s Corona SDK ... strikes me as out of bounds.
    ...
    The language in the agreement doesn’t leave much wiggle room for Flash. ... Wonder what Adobe does now? ... They’re pretty much royally ****ed..more

    Hank Williams calls it an "insane restraint of trade":

    3.3.1 not only bans cross platform tools, it bans everything that is written in other languages and are ported to C. This, obviously, includes libraries. ... [It's] an insidious concept and strikes at the core of product development and of computer science in general. Everything is built on other stuff. ... This language is fundamentally unreasonable.
    ...
    Some may say my interpretation is too pedantic. But the point is that in order for Apple to limit people in the way that they want to ... they are inflicting collateral damage. ... There is a reasonable risk that not only is 3.3.1 restraint of trade, but that the entire ... App Store concept ... is found to be restraint of trade. ... Adobe, and/or class action lawyers start your engines!

    Click to read more ...