Data centers are invariably focused on 100% availability, which comes down to reliability of power and various mechanical and electrical components throughout the facility. But energy efficiency is a major priority as well, even for data centers that don’t call themselves “green” or “sustainable”.
With electricity providing a bulk of the operating expense, any gains in efficiency can go a long way towards minimizing OpEx. Many data center efficiency measures focus on containment, cooling, and other measures within the white space, but critical power infrastructure can be a good target for efficiency gains as well.
Major UPS manufacturers often include an “ecomode,” or in the case of our Cheyenne data center, Eaton’s Energy Saver System (ESS). These modes can lead to efficiency gains of several percentage points, which sounds low, but in practice can lead to thousands of dollars of savings and carbon emission reductions in the hundreds or thousands of pounds.
You’ve probably heard about cryptocurrency — the most famous being Bitcoin — as it soared and crashed in value in the past few months. We have a quick explanation about cryptomining and its associated environmental costs here on the blog. Many are looking to cash in on “free money” by dedicated expensive hardware setups to mining new coins and processing crypto transactions.
So many, in fact, that a new variety of malware has emerged, infecting PCs, servers, and even smartphones with cryptomining software. Unbeknownst to users, cryptojacking software is using valuable computing power to enrich hackers while dramatically slowing down the infected device.
Will 2018 be the year of cryptojacking? How can you fight or avoid these new flavors of malware?
As we’ve mentioned before on the blog, the location of your cloud data matters. Latency, accessibility, and security are all top of mind, but legal concerns should also be considered. Case in point: a new law working its way through the Senate could have major implications for your data storage.
The CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) has recently garnered the support of major tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google, among others. Its stated goal is to clarify a web of different laws relating to data disclosure and privacy so enforcement officers and government officials have well-defined guidelines when it comes to accessing remotely stored data, including information that resides overseas, which is otherwise governed by the host country’s own laws.
So how might the CLOUD Act affect cloud storage and data sovereignty?
Accountants and CFOs have had their work cut out for them when trying to balance the checkbooks on cloud computing services. Because software and hardware is often categorized as an asset with depreciation, the proliferation of cloud — a subscription-based computing service rather than a capital expense — threw a wrench into traditional accounting for the IT department.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which provides guidance and sets accounting standards for public companies as directed by the SEC, set out suggestions for handling cloud computing in 2015. They recently convened to fix some of the problems created by this previous ordinance.
Here’s why cloud computing can cause headaches for your CFO and why the new FASB rules could help clear things up.
Virtualization revolutionized the delivery of IT services by abstracting the computing resources of a server and allowing many “virtual machines” to run on a single box. It is now commonplace and a foundational piece of cloud computing.
One outgrowth of virtualization was virtual desktops, which use a virtualization platform to run instances of desktop operating systems, complete with applications, that are accessed remotely. This means that the end client accessing those virtual desktops doesn’t need to be very powerful, because all the processing happens in the data center. It also means there is less hardware for IT staff to manage and updates are simple to process.
Virtualizing applications — and to an even greater extent, virtualizing desktops — has another hidden benefit, however: stronger data security. But how does remote access and processing add security? Shouldn’t there be more chances for an attacker to intercept data when it is traversing from office or remote work locations to a central data center?