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N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
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DoTheRightThing
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DoTheRightThing,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/20/2012 | 7:05:06 PM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
Well, I have seen multiple instances of data centers that are really inefficient with huge white space across 1000's of servers. I mean on average as a group of servers doing 10% utilization. Really bad I must say. The good news is these Data "Pig" Centers, really energy pigs, have their respective companies investigating this, doing trade off analysis to determine cost benefits of optimizing their IT landscape. While it will happen it will be slow extensively because of cultural and operational inertia that roadblocks progress in those companies. The top companies (speculation based on what I read) such as Google and Facebook are much better citizens and have shown social responsibility in releasing their designs and strategies that help laggards improve. So while some of this post resonants with me I felt when I read the original NY Times post, I am a subscriber, it was reasonably accurate in depicting the state of the Data Center.
DWilde1
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DWilde1,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/28/2012 | 2:17:26 PM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
It is obvious that the New York TImes is once again out to create an incendiary controversy about its competition. Just as the economics cretin Paul Krugman keeps getting his soapbox, this writer is out to pillory the competition that is eating The Times' breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Greg Schulz
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Greg Schulz,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/27/2012 | 1:05:28 PM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
What the NY Times article accomplished was to get views, reads, hits, follow-up posts, stories referencing it and so forth all of which are moving bits and bytes of data through various data centers/cloud facilities and actually using those servers, storage, networking and other technologies that as they claim, may have been underutilized.

What the NY Times article also accomplished was to bring back to life some of the themes, claims, challenges and discussions of the 2008 era that while not all have been addressed, many are being implemented. These range from data footprint reduction (DFR) such as archiving, backup modernization, compression, dedupe, storage tiering, data management along with intelligent or smart cooling and power management, more effective power supplies and distribution, faster servers that can do more work within the same physical and energy density supporting more memory and IO. There is also virtualization being used for consolidation as well as agility, along with clouds, IO performance optimization with SSD and many many more.

One of the challenges with the NY Times article, however IMHO it might also be a good example of the data center facilities focused centric view around the Greengrid PUE metric as a means of gauging efficiency. The challenge around PUE as by itself, it only measures the efficiency of the facility as opposed to the effectiveness of the work being done by the servers, storage, networking, hardware, software and other occupants of those habitats of technology. Thus you can have a data center that looks to be efficient based on PUE, however if the hardware and software that support business functions is not effective, than you actually have an inefficient information factory.

On the other hand, you could use the NY Times point of view and cite a data center or cloud site as being inefficient, yet, if that site is productive in terms of the level of services being delivered (performance, availability/reliability, cost, work done per watt of energy, etc), you in fact would have an effective and productive information factory.

If it took as some have pointed out a year of research for the NY Times piece, IG«÷m not sure what was done during that year because in 2008 while doing my normal day job as an independent IT advisory analyst and consultant, I also managed to research and write the book "The Green and Virtual Data Center" (CRC/Taylor and Francis) which is on the Intel Recommended Reading List for developers (shameless plug ;) )...

If you are interested in learning more about the above and related themes, here are some links that Im assuming the NY Times wont be interested in...

Green IT Confusion Continues, Opportunities Missed!
http://storageioblog.com/?p=59...

Green IT, Green Gap, Tiered Energy and Green Myths
http://storageioblog.com/?p=11...

The other Green Storage: Efficiency and Optimization
http://storageio.com/blog/?p=8...

Saving Money with Green IT: Time To Invest In Information Factories
http://storageio.com/blog/?p=7...

PUE, Are you Managing Power, Energy or Productivity?

http://storageio.com/blog/?p=7...

Shifting from energy avoidance to energy efficiency
http://storageio.com/blog/?p=5...

Green IT Confusion Continues, Opportunities Missed!
http://storageio.com/blog/?p=5...

Closing the Green Gap G«Ű Green washing may be endangered, however addressing real green issues is here to stay
http://storageio.com/blog/?p=7...

Aso http://storageio.com/book2.htm... where you can find some free chapter downloads and more reated material.

Cheers gs.

Greg Schulz

aimee
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aimee,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/26/2012 | 10:25:53 PM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
I am posting this comment for Deepak Jain, CEO of AiNET.

The article misses that the cloud allows upgrades to equipment without taking customersG«÷ applications down, allowing further improvements. Virtualization leader VMWare (of which AiNET is a partner) shows significant savings and uptake from progressive well run businesses looking to their data center operations as critical to their operation.

With AiNET technology, we can do what is call High Availability and Fault Tolerance. But even without super-advanced technology, using the basic technology allows you to stay up longer by not having to go down for routine thingsG«™ like the hard drive failed in your machine or the machine just got old. You can move your applications around without worrying about the actual hardware (the server) anymore. ThatG«÷s a game changerG«™.


NJ Mike
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NJ Mike,
User Rank: Strategist
9/26/2012 | 5:12:57 PM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
The new york times is a newspaper that is living off it's reputation, and puts pushing it's political view before reporting accurate news. Just because it's published in New York doesn't mean it is accurate, or worth reading, despite it's arrogant view of itselft.
rk web consultant
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rk web consultant,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/26/2012 | 1:47:33 PM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
Thanks for this
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2012 | 11:30:08 AM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
The problem with any data center is that it concentrates the energy usage into one spot and with that the environmental impact. For centuries we found that distributed organizations and systems are more sustainable and in the end work better than putting everything into one spot. Data centers are like the big screw that holds everything together. One big flood, earthquake, labor strike, hurricane, etc and the center is off the grid. And with that the hundreds of organizations that blindly trust that the cloud will always be there.
SWMS
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SWMS,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/25/2012 | 7:38:25 PM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
Charlie, you show amazing restraint.
Permabit Tom
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Permabit Tom,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/25/2012 | 7:06:29 PM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
I read with interest the first Cloud Factory article, "Power, Pollution and the Internet," in the New York Times and hope that future entries in their series will delve deeper into the "many ... solutions [that] are readily available" to decrease wasted power, including virtualization, which the author briefly referenced at the end of the story. This disruptive technology is being provided today by several companies to provide "virtual machines" that can do the exact same jobs as their physical counterparts while minimizing the need for additional hardware to run business-critical applications. Implementation of data storage optimization technologies, like deduplication, which removes the need to physically store redundant (or duplicate) data, helps reduce the need for additional storage hardware (i.e. disk drives) and thereby the floor space, power and cooling required for it. The adoption rate of these technologies is soaring because of their positive impact on TCO.
Tom Cook, CEO Permabit Technology Corporation
ANON1246282565366
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ANON1246282565366,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/25/2012 | 6:11:50 PM
re: N.Y. Times Data Center Indictment Misses Big Picture
The larger question here is why would anyone take the NYT seriously? This is an organization as biased and untrustworthy as there is in this country. The writer - as the majority of their journalists - already had a preconceived idea about computing that he wanted to disseminate. He certainly wasn't going to let a few facts and some basic research get in his way. There are a couple of million ninnies in Manhattan that eat that type of garbage up. Your readers are a lot smarter than that.
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