Archive For The “Hardware” Category

Optical Archival Storage Technology

It’s an unusual time in our industry where many of the most interesting server, storage, and networking advancements aren’t advertised, don’t have a sales team, don’t have price lists, and actually are often never even mentioned in public. The largest cloud providers build their own hardware designs and, since the equipment is not for sale,…

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Solar at Scale: How Big is a Solar Array of 9MW Average Output?

Solar at Scale: How Big is a Solar Array of 9MW Average Output?

I frequently get asked “why not just put solar panels on data center roofs and run them on that.” The short answer is datacenter roofs are just way too small. In a previous article (I Love Solar But…) I did a quick back of envelope calculation and, assuming a conventional single floor build with current…

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Cumulus Networks: A Sneak Preview of One of My Favorite Startups

Cumulus Networks: A Sneak Preview of One of My Favorite Startups

Back in 2009, in Datacenter Networks are in my way, I argued that the networking world was stuck in the mainframe business model: everything vertically integrated. In most datacenter networking equipment, the core Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC – the heart of a switch or router), the entire hardware platform for the ASIC including power…

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The Power Failure Seen Around the World

In the data center world, there are few events taken more seriously than power failure and considerable effort is spent to make them rare. When a datacenter experiences a power failure, it’s a really big deal for all involved. But, a big deal in the infrastructure world still really isn’t a big deal on the…

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Microserver Market Heats up: Intel Atom S1200 (Centerton) Announcement

Microserver Market Heats up: Intel Atom S1200 (Centerton) Announcement

Since 2008, I’ve been excited by, working on, and writing about Microservers. In these early days, some of the workloads I worked with were I/O bound and didn’t really need or use high single-thread performance. Replacing the server class processors that supported these applications with high-volume, low-cost client system CPUs yielded both better price/performance and…

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AMD Announces Server Targeted ARM Part

I have been interested in, and writing about, microservers since 2007. Microservers can be built using any instruction set architecture but I’m particularly interested in ARM processors and their application to server-side workloads. Today Advanced Micro Devices announced they are going to build an ARM CPU targeting the server market. This will be 4-core, 64…

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Google Mechanical Design

Google Mechanical Design

When I come across interesting innovations or designs notably different from the norm, I love to dig in and learn the details. More often than not I post them here. Earlier this week, Google posted a number of pictures taken from their datacenters (Google Data Center Tech). The pictures are beautiful and of interest to…

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Official Report of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission Executive

Last night, Tom Klienpeter sent me The Official Report of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission Executive Summary. They must have hardy executives in Japan in that the executive summary runs 86 pages in length. Overall, It’s an interesting document but I only managed to read in to the first page before starting to…

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Temprature Management in Data Centers

Cooling is the largest single non-IT (overhead) load in a modern datacenter. There are many innovative solutions to addressing the power losses in cooling systems. Many of these mechanical system innovations work well and others have great potential but none are as powerful as simply increasing the server inlet temperatures. Obviously less cooling is cheaper…

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I Love Solar Power But…

I love solar power, but in reflecting carefully on a couple of high profile datacenter deployments of solar power, I’m really developing serious reservations that this is the path to reducing data center environmental impact. I just can’t make the math work and find myself wondering if these large solar farms are really somewhere between…

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Communicating Data Beyond the Speed of Light

In the past, I’ve written about the cost of latency and how reducing latency can drive more customer engagement and increase revenue. Two example of this are: 1) The Cost of Latency and 2) Economic Incentives applied to Web Latency. Nowhere is latency reduction more valuable than in high frequency trading applications. Because these trades…

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Innovative Datacenter Design: Ishikari Datacenter

Innovative Datacenter Design: Ishikari Datacenter

Occasionally I come across a noteworthy datacenter design that is worth covering. Late last year a very interesting Japanese facility was brought to my attention by Mikio Uzawa an IT consultant who authors the Agile Cat blog. I know Mikio because he occasionally translates Perspectives articles for publication in Japan. Mikio pointed me to the…

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ARM V8 Architecture

ARM V8 Architecture

Years ago, Dave Patterson remarked that most server innovations were coming from the mobile device world. He’s right. Commodity system innovation is driven by volume and nowhere is there more volume than in the mobile device world. The power management techniques applied fairly successfully over the last 5 years had their genesis in the mobile…

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Serious Hard Drive Shortage Expected for at Least 2 Quarters

Serious Hard Drive Shortage Expected for at Least 2 Quarters

As rescue and relief operations continue in response to the serious flooding in Thailand the focus has correctly been on human health and safety. Early reports estimated 317 fatalities, 700,000 homes and 14,000 factories impacted with over 660,000 not able to work. Good coverage mostly from the Bangkok Post is available at Newley.com authored by…

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Software Define Networking Comes of Age

Software Define Networking Comes of Age

From the Last Bastion of Mainframe Computing Perspectives post: The networking equipment world looks just like mainframe computing ecosystem did 40 years ago. A small number of players produce vertically integrated solutions where the ASICs (the central processing unit responsible for high speed data packet switching), the hardware design, the hardware manufacture, and the entire…

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Changes in Networking Systems

I’ve been posting frequently on networking issues with the key point being the market is on the precipice of a massive change. There is a new model emerging. · Datacenter Networks are in my way · Networking: The Last Bastion of Mainframe Computing We now have merchant silicon providers for the core Application Specific Integrated…

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