As seminal punk band NOFX once sang, “Electricity / All we need to live today / A gift for man to throw away.” The data center industry has a love-hate relationship with electricity. It’s obviously a crucial resource that enables the productivity and innovation gains of cloud and large-scale computing, but it comes from polluting power plants, it’s expensive, and it’s delivered from an increasingly unreliable power grid in the United States. Data centers are also using more and more electricity every day.
New developments in electric generation and delivery as well as data center design innovations could help develop the much-hyped smart grid, bringing cost savings, increased reliability, and cleaner power generation. How can data centers and the electric grid work together to create the future of electricity?
On July 30th, 2014, we welcomed Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, customers, friends, and family to our brand new data center and headquarters in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The event included speeches from President Shawn Mills and Governor Mead, a flag raising by local scout troop 221, beer from New Belgium, snacks, and private VIP tours. The new 35,000 square foot building is already 1/4 full and will launch with 5MW capacity, expandable to 8MW. It is four times larger than the original facility.
“We started with just one customer,” said CEO Shawn Mills, “Today, we're very excited to say we count over 350 customers from around the world, including five countries and 26 states.”
Networkworld pushed out an article this week asking, “What Happened to Green IT?” The piece claims that interest and effort alike have dwindled when it comes to green energy, efficiency, and ethically sourced procurement. While it does concede that green IT hasn’t completely vanished, with sustainability reports now commonplace among enterprises and manufacturers still chasing more efficient equipment, the overall tone is that green IT must be resurrected by “passionate IT professionals” to keep it alive.
The article also does give a few suggestions to kick up the momentum of green initiatives, including the inevitable citing of Google, Facebook, and Apple, who along with Microsoft are truly forging a new path for corporate sustainability and green IT alike. But the article misses the boat when it hinges on the retirement of CompTIA’s Green IT certification; or The Green IT Review stating that “most organizations are struggling with or ignoring” green IT. There are plenty of counterexamples, from SMBs like Green House Data to mandates imposed by western governments.
As historic drought spreads in California, environmentalists are turning their attention towards potable water. While this isn’t an entirely new subject for conservation—we’re intimately familiar with water shortages here in Colorado and Wyoming—accelerating buzz and knowledge about climate change is making water shortages a hot topic, and data centers aren’t about to escape unscathed.
An investigative report in the Financial Times is shedding some light on the current water situation in industries around the world. The report includes a look at Google’s data centers, with Joe Kava, Google’s head of data center operations, quoted as saying that water is the “big elephant in the room” for data center companies.
One of the easiest ways to get into the cloud—and one of the best, most essential uses of cloud infrastructure in general—is disaster recovery. This can be a low-cost method that will give you peace of mind and keep your business technology afloat if you lose primary hosting.
Depending on the recovery service level, you can prop up anywhere from 25% to 100% of your infrastructure to keep business continuity without a second location or colocation. Before you start implementing a disaster recovery plan, here are the essential questions you need to ask yourself and your IT team.