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Location, Location, Data Center Location

January 4, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

I spent a recent weekend helping a friend load his belongings into a moving van, in preparation for relocating his family from California to Texas.  Sometime between lifting my end of a sofa and carrying boxes that apparently contained his collection of concrete blocks, we talked about his search for a new home.

Although there are certain amenities he would like his new house to have, the biggest influence on his choice of residence is the old real estate axiom location, location, location.  He has a child in preschool and a good job, so you can guess his priorities:  something near a highly rated school, not too far from work and where property values are apt to rise over time.

Location is a critical consideration for Data Centers, too, although for different reasons.  Read More »

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DC Deconstructed – 2011 Year In Review

December 14, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Congratulations on a great first year for your Data Center Deconstructed blog.

I say yours because you choose the subject matter through the questions you submit.  Sure, I do the writing and video production but really I’m just the chauffer.  My hands are on the steering wheel; you decide where we go.

As we come to the end of the road that is 2011, let’s check the rearview mirror and see the most popular stops along our path.  Here are the Data Center Deconstructed topics that garnered the most attention this year: Read More »

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6 Essential Data Center White Papers

November 30, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

I spoke at my son’s school for Career Day a couple of years ago.  I talked about my time as a newspaper reporter and basic news writing principles such as the five Ws, attribution and the inverted pyramid.  There’s a chance I’ll return this year to talk about being a Data Center manager, which has me pondering what Data Center basics to cover.

If you had to explain Data Center fundamentals to a newcomer, what would you talk about?  Availability?  Power density?  The fact that everything people do online is enabled by a Data Center somewhere?

Read More »

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Multitenancy in the Data Center: Putting a New Paradigm to Work

Imagine if you were a building contractor and a client came to you and said, “I need you to build a commercial facility suitable for a variety of occupants, including a 24-hour machine shop that consumes massive amounts of electricity, a workshop for the disabled full of assistive equipment, and a rare gems dealer who requires maximum security.  Oh – and by the way – they’ve all signed 5-year leases, so your design will have to anticipate their future needs.”

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8 Simple Rules For Improving A Data Center

November 3, 2011 at 9:30 am PST

Data Center Deconstructed reader Eric Chou writes:  Good to see the knowledge sharing Doug. I read your book on building a Data Center a few years back and it was informative on the physical infrastructure piece.  I think it would also be informative if you can share some of the experiences or creative ways to increase efficiency when there are macro environment limitations.  I mean, outside of a select few companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Amazon), most companies are not able to build a Data Center from the ground up, buy the cheapest land near a lake or negotiate a jaw dropping electricity rate with the local government.  What can we do when we need to house 1/2 floor of servers in a 80-year old peering exchange that assumes 2 KVA per rack when designed?

That’s a great question.  As I often tell other Data Center managers, we can make any upgrades to our server environments we want to as long as there’s no downtime or cost.  I’m joking with that comment – mostly – but it is a common scenario.  Fortunately, there are several things that can be done in a legacy Data Center to improve its efficiency and reduce the likelihood of downtime without spending much money or disrupting the environment.

Here, then, are eight simple rules for improving a Data Center.

Read More »

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