Archive For The “Hardware” Category

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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Consolidation in Networking: Intel Buys Fulcrum Microsystems

Consolidation in Networking: Intel Buys Fulcrum Microsystems

Great things are happening in the networking market. We’re transitioning from vertically integrated mainframe-like economics to a model similar to what we have in the server world. In the server ecosystems, we have Intel, AMD and others competing to provide the CPU. At the layer above, we have ZT Systems, HP, Dell DCS, SGI, IBM,…

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Open Compute UPS & Power Supply

Open Compute UPS & Power Supply

This note looks at the Open Compute Project distributed Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) and server Power Supply Unit (PSU). This is the last in a series of notes looking at the Open Compute Project. Previous articles include: · Open Compute Project · Open Compute Server Design · Open Compute Mechanical Design The open compute uses…

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European Data Center Efficiency Summit

Google cordially invites you to participate in a European Summit on sustainable Data Centres. This event will focus on energy-efficiency best practices that can be applied to multi-MW custom-designed facilities, office closets, and everything in between. Google and other industry leaders will present case studies that highlight easy, cost-effective practices to enhance the energy performance…

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Open Compute Server Design

Open Compute Server Design

Last Thursday Facebook announced the Open Compute Project where they released pictures and specifications for their Prineville Oregon datacenter and the servers and infrastructure that will populate that facility. In my last blog, Open Compute Mechanical System Design I walked through the mechanical system in some detail. In this posting, we’ll have a closer look…

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Open Compute Mechanical System Design

Open Compute Mechanical System Design

Last week Facebook announced the Open Compute Project (Perspectives, Facebook). I linked to the detailed specs in my general notes on Perspectives and said I would follow up with more detail on key components and design decisions I thought were particularly noteworthy. In this post we’ll go through the mechanical design in detail. As long…

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Open Compute Project

Open Compute Project

The pace of innovation in data center design has been rapidly accelerating over the last 5 years driven by the mega-service operators. In fact, I believe we have seen more infrastructure innovation in the last 5 years than we did in the previous 15. Most very large service operators have teams of experts focused on…

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Example of Efficient Mechanical Design

Example of Efficient Mechanical Design

A bit more than a year back, I published Computer Room Evaporative Cooling where I showed an evaporative cooling design from EcoCooling. Periodically, Alan Beresford sends me designs he’s working on. This morning he sent me a design they are working on for a 7MW data center in Ireland. I like the design for a…

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Intel Atom with ECC in 2012

Back in early 2008, I noticed an interesting phenomena: some workloads run more cost effectively on low-cost, low-power processors. The key observation behind this phenomena is that CPU bandwidth consumption is going up faster than memory bandwidth. Essentially, it’s a two part observation: 1) many workloads are memory bandwidth bound and will not run faster…

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More Data on Datacenter Air Side Economization

Two of the highest leverage datacenter efficiency improving techniques currently sweeping the industry are: 1) operating at higher ambient temperatures (http://perspectives.mvdirona.com/2011/02/27/ExploringTheLimitsOfDatacenterTemprature.aspx) and air-side economization with evaporative cooling (http://perspectives.mvdirona.com/2010/05/15/ComputerRoomEvaporativeCooling.aspx). The American Society of Heating and Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) currently recommends that servers not be operated at inlet temperatures beyond 81F. Its super common to…

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Yahoo! Compute Coop Design

Yahoo! Compute Coop Design

Chris Page, Director of Climate & Energy Strategy at Yahoo! spoke at the 2010 Data Center Efficiency Summit and presented Yahoo! Compute Coop Design. The primary attributes of the Yahoo! design are: 1) 100% free air cooling (no chillers), 2) slab concrete floor, 3) use of wind power to augment air handling units, and 4)…

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Exploring the Limits of Datacenter Temprature

Datacenter temperature has been ramping up rapidly over the last 5 years. In fact, leading operators have been pushing temperatures up so quickly that the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning recommendations have become a become trailing indicator of what is being done rather than current guidance. ASHRAE responded in January of 2009 by…

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