Category: data centre

My interview published on Channel 9

When I was in Barcelona for TechEd last year Charles Torre did a video interview with me. We had a wide ranging chat about data centre energy efficiency strategies, blogs/blogging and the Death Star!

Charles emailed me last night to let me know that the interview has now been published on Channel 9 (Channel 9 is a very high trafficked online forum where videos are posted and discussions on those videos take place).

It has already been viewed over 600 times!

The player is SilverLight and doesn’t appear to work on the Mac for some reason but there is a link to a .wmv version of the video so you can download and watch locally.

CIX on Intruders.tv

We held our Open Day in CIX a couple of weeks back. We invited local businesses to come in and have a look at the data centre infrastructure before we closed up all the ducts and hazardous areas.

We also invited Intruders.tv to come along and film the event. They did and they published the interview they did with Adam and I the other day.

http://new.intruders.tv/swf/flvplayer.swf

The Open day was the day after the it@cork conference so I was quite tired. Watching the video now I realise I messed up on some of the figures! Typical data centres operate at 30% energy efficiency (not 70% like I said in the video) and CIX is rated to operate at 80% energy efficiency due to the innovative technologies we outlined in this interview.

CIX open day

Cork Internet eXchange (aka CIX) are having an Open Day on the morning of November 29th at 10am.

This will be your final opportunity to have a gander around the innards of a data centre in the making. After the 29th, ducts will be closed and off-limits areas will be off-limits!

If you are interested in having a look, drop me a mail so we have an idea of numbers (tom@tomrafteryit.net).

See you there.

[Disclosure – I am a director of CIX]

UPDATE – edited to correct my email address – thanks James

US Data Center chillers not backed up by diesel generators?

Rackspace are a high-profile data centre in the US. They had a couple of outages in the last few days which have badly damaged their reputation. The main outage, according to Rackspace, happened when:

at approximately 6:30 PM CST Monday, a vehicle struck and brought down the transformer feeding power to the DFW data center. It immediately disrupted power to the entire data center and our emergency generators kicked in and operated as intended. When we transferred power to our secondary utility power system, the data center’s chilling units were cycled back up. At this time, however, the utility provider shut down power in order to allow emergency rescue teams safe access to the accident victim. This repeated cycling of the chillers resulted in increasing temperatures within the data center. As a precautionary measure we decided to take some customers’ servers offline.

When I read this, something about it didn’t seem right. I couldn’t understand why the chillers (the machines which cool the water for the aircon) would need to be power cycled. Then, an explanation showed up on the Texas Startup blog:

It turns out that in most multi-tenant commercial property in the United States, the building owner provides chilled water so that tenants can run their HVAC systems. In general, most buildings do NOT put these chillers on power with generator backup

If this is true, it is frightening!

In other words, if power fails to these buildings, the diesel generator will ensure that their aircon will be circulating air which is rapidly increasing in temperature because the water is no longer being chilled.

I’m director of Cork Internet eXchange, the first professional data centre in Ireland outside of Dublin and I can absolutely guarantee that our chillers are on power with a backup from our diesel generator. Of course they are. Why would you design it any other way?

Om Malik put it well when he said:

our Internet infrastructure, despite all the talk, is as fragile as a fine porcelain cup on the roof of a car zipping across a pot-holed goat track

Phew!

These next few weeks and months are manic busy.

I think I need to clone me!

Views from the CIX mast

We are erecting a 24 metre mast outside our CIX data centre in Cork.

I was curious to know what the visibility would be like for our mast’s customers (we will be renting out space on the mast) so yesterday when we had a cherry picker onsite I had the driver lift me 10 metres and I took some photos.

I posted the photos on the mast’s page but, for example, looking East-South-East from 10m above the mast’s site you can see the former IFI plant on Great Island (8 miles as the crow flies)!:
View from CIX Mast

Remember these photos were taken from a height of 10m and the mast, when erected later this month, will be a full 24m!

[Disclosure] – I am a director of CIX