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Cisco’s Other Production Data Center

January 9, 2013 at 10:00 am PST

If sibling rivalry exists among Data Centers, our Richardson, Texas facility must be jealous.  Unveiled in 2007 as Cisco’s next-generation Data Center and subsequently toured by thousands of visitors, the site hasn’t received much attention since its younger brother came online in 2011. Read More »

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2012 Year In Review

December 12, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

Two things I greatly enjoy about working in and around Data Centers are that so many different technologies converge within them and that those technologies are constantly evolving.  There’s always something new to explore.

It’s no surprise then that Data Center Deconstructed ping-ponged among several topics in 2012, from choosing a site to relocating servers to incorporating alternative energy, and more.  I even tried my hand at blogging in real-time, posting live from the annual Technology Convergence Conference.

Here’s are the Data Center Deconstructed topics that received the most attention this year.  Check out any you’ve missed: Read More »

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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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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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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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