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    Sunday
    Aug232009

    eBay’s Top 5 Data Center Practices, Olivier Sanche Shares Ideas

    eBay’s Olivier Sanche is a name recognized in the Mac community and data center industry with the announcement he will be joining Apple.

    Apple's Going Greener with New Hire

    Posted 08/13/2009 at 11:59:29am | by Danny Estrada

    Apple just hired Oliver Sanche, eBay's former Senior Director of Data Centers Services and Stategies. Sanche also happens to be the leading expert on the greening of cloud computing facilities. Sanche was assisting eBay in its quest to become carbon neutral since 2007. His latest contribution to providing a world for your future Mac-using offspring, has been the overseeing of eBay's newest data-center, which will reach the second highest LEED standards when it goes live in 2010.

    Now Apple is looking to clean up their footprint on our planet by using Sanche's services in overseeing their planned billion dollar, 500,000-square-foot facility in North Carolina that will serve as Apple's primary East Coast data center. Sanche has helped to combine and conserve eBay's energy uses by utilizing a combination of solar energy, facilities management, and the adoption of a high-quality carbon-offset program.

    Here is a recent post that has eBay sharing its top 5 data center ideas to be green.

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    eBay's Sustainable Data Center

    Green is part of eBay’s DNA
    Sustainability at eBay is a strong part of its culture. Its basic business model is all about sustainability, since it encourages reuse by establishing markets for used products. Continuing the sustainability theme in its operations, both grass roots employee initiatives and broader corporate programs have been launched. Some of these programs include:

    I like the list because it is shorter than most who share ten ideas, and starts with a fundamental of research.

    Here are the top two, for the remaining three you can go to the full post.

    eBay’s Olivier Sanche “Top 5” to enhance Data Center sustainability
    1) Research best practices.
    There are many excellent resources available including Climate Savers, Green Grid, and Data Center Pulse. Such resources can help a business determine which activities provide the biggest improvements, learn how to implement current best practices, understand trends to plan accordingly, and connect with other data center professionals interested in sustainability.

    #2 is an end to end view few talk about as they themselves are in silos.


    2) Baseline current energy costs, apply appropriate metrics and break-down silos.


    If not already part of the data center budget, DC energy costs should be moved to the DC budget to provide the necessary visibility to manage. To improve energy utilization, DC’s usually focus on making the plant and equipment more efficient, but it is just as important to understand how the equipment is used. To illustrate his point, Olivier shared an analogy. When comparing a Hummer and a Prius when looking at mpg, the Prius wins. But if the Hummer is carrying eight people and the Prius is only carrying one person, the person-miles per gallon makes the Hummer more efficient. To understand an analogous person-miles per gallon at the data center, an important metric is “computing per watt”.


    It is necessary to partner with application delivery, engineering, architecture and operations to enhance the computing per watt metric. According to Olivier, “a major problem is that a DC is typically siloed from other parts of the organization.” Olivier made the effort to seek out his partners to share the data on energy use and then work together across the organization to find creative solutions. Without data and metrics, each department will likely focus on their activities and sub-optimize to the determent of the overall goal of sustainability. Armed with the end-to-end view, increasing utilization became a critical goal. The next step was to fine-tune applications, middleware, network, o/s to work better together to perform a function or service or eliminate unneeded code to further drive down energy use. Combining energy reduction for both the equipment and services using the equipment is comparable to using two Prius’s to transport eight passengers and abandoning the Hummer altogether.

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Aug222009

    What could be in Apple’s Data Center Future, Video Rendering like Pixar’s Renderman

    Datacenterknowledge’s Rich Miller has been getting a lot of coverage in the Apple Data Center discussion with his recent interview.

    Rich Miller is editor of Data Center Knowledge, an online trade magazine devoted to the data center industry.

    CoM: First, any idea why Apple is building this new data center?

    Miller: Apple has said very little about the North Carolina facility, beyond the fact that it will serve as the company’s East coast data hub. Apple also has a West coast data center facility in Newark, Calif. Local officials I’ve spoken with say they believe the space is primarily to support Mobile Me and digital content for the iTunes store. The most interesting question is whether Apple needs a much larger facility to support growth in its existing services, or is scaling up capacity for future offerings.

    CoM: Could Apple be building it for cloud computing apps — cloud versions of its iLife apps for example?

    Miller: One of the leading theories about the size of the NC project is that Apple is planning future cloud computing services that will require lots of data center storage. Cloud computing is a hot trend, and I’d be surprised if Apple isn’t thinking hard – and thinking differently – about cloud computing. Many cloud enthusiasts say that cloud computing will eliminate the need for data centers. In reality, the only thing will change is the owner of the building. All the applications and data that are moving into the cloud will live on servers in brick-and-mortar data centers. The companies that are building the biggest data centers tend to also have the biggest cloud ambitions.

    Rich speculates a bit on MobileMe and digital content.  I would agree with Rich and Apple is not going to be hosting analog content. :-)  

    One thing Apple could do is leverage its Disney, Pixar relationship to allow a video rendering farm. A Pixar Renderman could computing service.  Below are pictures of an existing farm farm from flickr.

    image

    image 

    If you aren’t familiar with RenderMan here is the link to Pixar’s site.

    image

    They have loyal customer’s like South Park Studios that sell videos on iTunes and use Macs to create the videos.

    image

    Who else could create a video rendering farm?  You could create one in Amazon Web Services.  Animoto.com is one service that exists.  Jeff Bezos referenced animoto and even invested in Animoto.

    Amazon Funds Animoto Music Video Creator

    by Mark Hendrickson on May 15, 2008

    Amazon has taken a special interest in one of its web service customers: Animoto, the machine-driven music video creator that launched last August and now has over 160,000 users. The online retail giant has decided to fund the startup with an undisclosed amount of money.

    Animoto takes photo and music files from users and essentially turns them into souped up slideshows with background music that synchronizes with effects and transitions. The service uses Amazon’s SQS, S3 and EC2 to store the requisite files and process the videos.

    Cloud computing has been so vital to Animoto’s operations that Jeff Bezos even used the company as example of how well EC2 helps web apps scale when their traffic hockey sticks (in Animoto’s case, when its Facebook app took off last month).

    If you still think I am a little crazy, check out the Animoto iTunes app.  Why can’t Apple do this in their data centers?

    Animoto iPhone App 2.0 has arrived!

    The new version of our app is ready to download from the App Store!  It’s still free, so head here to grab it: http://itunes.com/app/animotovideos

    Huge new features in this one, including:
    — Sync to your Animoto.com account
    — Download videos for offline viewing
    — Longer videos with an All-Access Pass
    — Lots more songs, new genres
    — Better image fitting/placement in your video

    iphoneAiphoneB

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Aug212009

    Oracle’s Halted Data Center Construction, Would you call this Construction?

    Oracle is closer to its Sun acquisition, and picking up Sun’s data center capacity.

    Justice Department Clears Oracle-Sun Deal

    By BRENT KENDALL

    Oracle Corp. said antirust regulators at the U.S. Department of Justice have cleared its $7.4 billion deal to buy Sun Microsystems Inc., removing a major hurdle for the transaction.

    Oracle, which makes databases and other software for large corporations, has said it hopes to close the deal this summer.

    I wrote this post back in July on Oracle’s data center construction.

    Jul 11, 2009

    IDG Publications Have You Seen Oracle’s Data Center Construction?

    I had a a laugh watching the news about Oracle’s data center and the announcement by the local gov’t officials regarding the facility.  I wrote my own blog entry about the Sequoia data center presentation.

    But, I’ve seen the data center site, and there hasn’t been construction this year, and the only evidence of construction is a bit of foundation work.  There is no electrical infrastructure or super structure for the data center. The below picture and press would make you think the site is a failed data center construction project put on hold.

    I tried to get an aerial map from google and bing.com, but the pictures are too old to show the construction site foundation.

    DataCenterKnowledge has a post referencing the local Salt Lake City paper.

    Oracle Halts Utah Data Center Project
    July 8th, 2009 : Rich Miller

    Oracle's planned Utah Compute Center in West Jordan, Utah. State officials say Oracle has halted construction on the project.

    I was able to go by the Oracle data center site this week and below are pictures.  Compared to the above rendering I would say Oracle was maybe 0.01% into construction. :-)

    Below is a distance view of the site.  The site is in the lower middle of this picture.

    image

    Here is close up of the foundation.

    image

    And, here is a picture from the road.

    image

    These are probably the most boring data center pictures I’ve taken.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug182009

    Data Center Paparazzi Target was Google, now Apple, Watch the Rumors

    Remember when we speculated on Google Data Centers?  People took pictures like the paparazzi of Google’s data centers and posted pictures to drive traffic.  But that is old news.

    Now Apple is the new star.

    Check out these links (17) today speculating on Apple’s use of its $1 billion data center.

    Why is this happening?  Because it drives traffic to sites.

    Apple Building Massive Data Center

    IGN - Chris Iaquinta - ‎16 minutes ago‎

    August 18, 2009 - Remember when Google bigwig Eric Schmidt resigned from his position on Apple's board of director because he felt that ...

    Apple's NC Data Center May Host New Cloud Services

    Web Host Industry Review - David Hamilton - ‎3 hours ago‎

    (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- Currently under construction in North Carolina, Apple's massive, 500000 square-foot data ...

    Apple Building Secret Massive Data Centre

    Gizmodo Australia - Jesus Diaz - ‎3 hours ago‎

    Apple is building a new data centre facility in North Carolina. Nobody knows why, but according to Data centre ...

    Experts debate Apple's plans for huge NC data center

    Ars Technica - Chris Foresman - ‎4 hours ago‎

    Experts are weighing in on possible plans for the "huge" data center Apple is building in North Carolina. One believes it is to bring content delivery ...

    Apple NC data center for cloud computing?

    TECH.BLORGE.com - Michael W. Jones - ‎4 hours ago‎

    If you have wondered what that huge Apple data center in North Carolina is all about, you're not alone. The newest speculation has Apple ...

    'Cloud computing' likely to be focus of Apple's $1B NC data center

    Local Tech Wire - ‎5 hours ago‎

    RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – Apple's new $1 billion data center that is to be built in western North Carolina reportedly will be a mammoth 500000 square ...

    Apple Building Secret Massive Data Center, Probably to Hold ...

    Gizmodo.com - Jesus Diaz - ‎5 hours ago‎

    By Jesus Diaz , 12:40 PM on Tue Aug 18 2009, 11106 views Apple is building a new data center facility in North Carolina. Nobody knows what is it for, ...

    Legal Implications of Cloud Computing — Part One (the Basics and ...

    InfoSecCompliance - David Navetta - ‎7 hours ago‎

    I had the pleasure of hearing an excellent presentation by Tanya Forsheit on the legal issues arising out of cloud computing during the ABA Information ...

    Apple's NC datacenter to be among largest in the wold

    TechJournal South - ‎8 hours ago‎

    The Apple datacenter planned for North Carolina after the state legislature changed the way it taxes billion-dollar businesses, will be among the world's ...

    Apple's New North Carolina Data Center Among Largest in the World

    the iPhone Blog - Rene Ritchie - ‎11 hours ago‎

    Apple is building a huge, billion dollar data center in North Carolina. However, no one outside Cupertino knows exactly what it's going to be used for ...

    Expert speculates Apple's new data center to be for cloud computing

    Apple Insider - Katie Marsal - ‎11 hours ago‎

    A data center expert believes Apple's new, massive cluster of computers in North Carolina could be intended to power a giant cloud computing ...

    Apple is secretly building a massive data centre – but why?

    Wired.co.uk - Brian X Chen, Michael Conroy - ‎12 hours ago‎

    Apple loves keeping secrets, but it can't hide something as big as the 46000 square metre data ...

    Apple's NC data center pointing to cloud computing?

    MacNN - ‎Aug 17, 2009‎

    The gigantic size of Apple's upcoming data center has lead to speculation that the company might be planning a foray into cloud computing, according to Cult ...

    Apple invests in new data centre – cloud computing coming to iLife ...

    Stuff.tv - ‎Aug 17, 2009‎

    Apple has invested in a huge new data centre in North Carolina. The fact that a technology company has just nabbed new servers wouldn't be big news. ...

    Is Apple Shooting for the Cloud?

    Fast Company - Kit Eaton - ‎Aug 17, 2009‎

    More information is trickling out about Apple's new data center in North Carolina--it seems it's going to be big. ...

    Apple's New Data Center Likely to Focus on Cloud Computing

    Wired Blogs - Brian X. Chen - ‎Aug 17, 2009‎

    Apple loves keeping secrets, but it can't hide something as big as the 500000 square-foot data center it's constructing in North Carolina. ...

    Apple's new NC data center one of world's largest; massive-scale ...

    MacDailyNews - ‎Aug 17, 2009‎

    "More information is trickling out about Apple's new data center in North Carolina--it seems it's going to be big. Amongst the biggest in the World, ...

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug182009

    Green Software Unconference, Aug 19, 2009 - DCeP

    Just saw tomorrow, Aug 19  is an unconference on Green Software in SJ.

    An Unconference About Green Software: Exploring Its Meaning and Applications
    by Zen Kishimoto

    The Green Software Unconference is scheduled for August 19 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Since this is an unconference, there is no set agenda or program. But its theme is clear: What is green software and what can we do with it?

    As everyone knows, IT includes many elements, such as hardware, software, systems, services, and staffs.  Yet, when it comes to green IT, most of the focus has been on hardware. For example, one aspect of green IT is to cut power consumption. When you consider the power consumption of IT equipment, you measure power consumption by hardware devices, such as servers, even though hardware devices consist of both hardware and software. Most discussions have centered on how to make hardware devices more energy efficient. The well-known data center metric PUE (power usage effectiveness) primarily concerns hardware. The newer and supposedly better metric DCeP (data center energy productivity) still measures hardware performance alone, although software running on a hardware box may make a big difference in energy efficiency.

    If anyone attends, feel free to contact me and I’ll write see if I can write a blog entry.

    Click to read more ...