Following this train of comic book logic, Oracle’s S.H.I.E.L.D. data center is not so farfetched. Though clearly a marketing gesture, the Avengers’ data center, packed with fancy hardware from Oracle, is impressive. S.H.I.E.L.D., the intelligence agency behind the Avengers, needed a new data center after its old one was conveniently destroyed, paving the way for a way to publicize Oracle’s gear and the new Avengers movie.
But it does make my nerd-brain wonder: what would really be required for superhero-scale data centers? I don’t think Superman’s current incarnation requires much computing power, though in days past he apparently did lots of scientific research, but the large-scale Justice League and Avengers organizations— we won’t even mention the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps — probably would. Would they build green and get LEED certified? Who’ll foot the bill? More importantly, if these superheroes are still trying to remain secret, where would they find IT staff to support those data centers? Where’s our Super IT Admin comic book to answer these questions, huh?]]>
Some, like the Emerson data center, have had trouble with data center management and asset availability in the face of strict, energy efficient power utilization guidelines. On the free cooling side, an incident at Facebook’s Prineville, Ore., shut down the data center when a control system program error brought condensation onto the servers and shorted out power supplies. Then there are the problems you might not see coming, like IBM’s Poughkeepsie Green Data Center, which discovered some capacity issues well into its existence. For every failure there is success, and both provide lessons for a more energy efficient data center.
Events like the Green Technologies Conference are tackling nagging problems — like overheating — for green data centers. There are other tips and tricks compiled by certification groups like the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Green Grid to help reduce carbon footprints without sacrificing cooling and energy efficiency. Heck, even some of the big boys like Google and Facebook have put their designs and best practices out there for everyone to see. Though there can be a price to pay for innovation, it’s good to know you don’t have to go it alone when going green.]]>
The new astronomical project is a radio telescope designed to see into the universe’s distant past to help answer questions about the Big Bang. To do this, it will pull in an exabyte – that’s 1 billion gigabytes – of data every day. As you can imagine, this presents a bit of a computing challenge.
Exploring the mysteries of the universe is no doubt going to take an epic data center project, and, as it turns out, a potentially new way of stacking chips in a server. According to its website, the SKA will require “100 petaflops per second processing power,” which is beyond current computing technology. Luckily, IBM and ASTRON, a Netherlands-based astronomy organization, have created the DOME project to bring about this new world order of high performance research computing. In other words, they’re in the future!
SKA is still in its infancy and won’t be fully operational until 2024, but it sure will be interesting to watch as it grows.
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The Uptime blog states, “Decommissioning a single 1U rack server can result in $500 per year in energy savings, an additional $500 in operating system licenses, and $1,500 in hardware maintenance costs.” When you remove several thousand servers, you can see how it all adds up.
Coming in second was NBC with 284 decommissioned servers.
The question of when to replace or add more servers is an important one every enterprise needs to address.
New technology is making it possible to do more with less, so maybe we’ll see a closer competition in next year’s roundup.]]>