Ah, weather – one of life’s multi-purpose tools. Conversation filler (“Quite the weather we’re having.”), alleged indicator of world’s end and source of inspiration for comic book writers to empower heroes and villains alike.
Weather can also be a Data Center’s best friend. Solar energy can be harvested to help generate power, for instance, such as is happening at Cisco’s Data Center in Allen, Texas. (Look for the 100 kW solar array on the right side of the Data Center’s roof.) Wind energy as well. Rainwater can even be collected for cooling system usage or to irrigate landscaping.
I must confess, the first time I heard about virtual desktop infrastructure it made me think of a scene from the 1985 movie Brazil. (The movie is old enough that I trust I’m not spoiling anything here. If it’s sitting in your Netflix queue and you don’t want anything revealed, though, skip the next paragraph.)
In the scene Sam Lowry, the movie’s main character, struggles to work at his too-small desk that adjoins a nearby wall. The desk shifts, and begins to retract into said wall, causing Sam to yank mightily on it in hopes of recovering some usable desk space. After a brief tug of war, he discovers the source of the problem.
Fortunately, that’s not how virtual desktop technology truly works.
This week’s Data Center Deconstructed question raises the issue of how to determine the ratio of physical servers to virtual desktop instances. As my meandering thoughts of Brazil indicate, I’m not your go-to guy for such information. Ashok Rajagopalan, a product manager in Cisco’s Server Access Virtualization Technology Group, steps in to addresses the topic.
What are typical power and cooling densities in a Data Center these days? What do you think they’ll be in the future?
I routinely host Data Center tours at Cisco’s headquarters. During those walkthroughs I often discuss how the densities in our server environments have increased over time. Facilities with 50 to 60 watts per square foot gave way to those of 100 to 120 watts per square foot, which in turn gave way to those of 175 to 200 watts per square foot.
Novelty bets are all the rage these days in gambling. Bookmakers are laying odds and allowing side bets on the minutiae of major events ranging from athletic contests to national elections to royal weddings. My favorite novelty bet from the 2011 Super Bowl: how long would Christina Aguilera hold the note “brave” at the end of the National Anthem? (It went nine seconds by my unofficial count. Feel free to time it yourself.)
Can we get the Data Center industry a piece of this action? Imagine the odds line for happenings in and around your server environment in the next six months: Read More »
I worked for years on Cisco’s team that designed and managed our Data Centers. In the early 2000s, hardware compaction strongly influenced our physical design. Every few weeks it seemed a different manufacturer debuted a new server smaller and more powerful than its predecessor. We could fit more gear into our cabinets and so found we had a lot more cabling to manage. This was especially challenging in legacy Data Centers with cables routed below the under-floor plenum. More cabling meant less airflow.