Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spending on Data Centers to Increase in Coming Year

An independent survey of the U.S. data center industry commissioned by Digital Realty Trust indicates that spending on data centers will increase throughout 2009 and 2010.

Based on Web-based surveys of 300 IT decision makers at large corporations in North America, the study reveals that more than 80% of the surveyed companies are planning data center expansions in the next one to two years, with more than half of those companies planning to expand in two or more locations.

In addition, the surveyed companies plan to increase data center spending by an average of nearly 7% in the coming year. “This is a reflection of how companies view their datacenters as critical assets for increasing productivity while reducing costs," noted Chris Crosby, Senior Vice President of Digital Realty Trust.

To view the rest of the study findings, visit the Investor Relations section of

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Top 3 Data Center Trends for 2009

Enterprise Systems just published the “Top Three Data Center Trends for 2009” by Duncan Campbell, vice president of worldwide marketing for adaptive infrastructure at HP. In the article, Campbell discusses how companies need to get the most out of their technology assets and, in the coming year, data centers will be pressured to "maintain high levels of efficiency while managing costs". In addition, companies will need to make an up-front investment in their data center assets in order to meet complex business demands.

Campbell predicts:
  • “There will be no shortage of cost-cutting initiatives for enterprise technology this year.”
  • “As virtualization continues to enable technology organizations to bring new levels of efficiency to the data center, the line between clients, servers, networks and storage devices will continue to blur.”
  • “Blade offerings will continue to mature in 2009. Server, storage, and networking blades will continue to improve their energy efficiency and reduce data center footprints. Vendors are also now developing specialty blades, finely tuned to run a specific application.”

Efficiency, agility, and scalability will remain priorities for companies. By taking advantage of innovative data center technologies, companies can further reduce costs while increasing productivity – a goal that is of particular importance during challenging economic times.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It’s Nap Time for Data Centers

Yesterday at the International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems in Washington, D.C., researchers from the University of Michigan presented a paper, titled “PowerNap: Eliminating Server Idle Power”.

“One of the largest sources of energy-inefficiency is the substantial energy used by idle equipment that is powered on, but not performing useful work,” says Thomas Wenisch, assistant professor in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In response to this problem, Wenisch's team has developed a technique to eliminate server idle-power waste.

Their paper addresses the energy efficiency of data center computer systems and outlines a plan for cutting data center energy consumption by as much as 75 percent. This would be accomplished through the concurrent use of PowerNap and the Redundant Array for Inexpensive Load Sharing (RAILS). PowerNap is an energy-conservation approach which would enable the entire system to transition rapidly between a high-performance active state and a near zero-power idle state in response to instantaneous load, essentially putting them to sleep as you would do with an ordinary laptop. RAILS is a power provisioning approach that provides high conversion efficiency across the entire range of PowerNap’s power demands.

The paper concludes:

PowerNap yields a striking reduction in average power relative to Blade of nearly 70% for Web 2.0 servers. Improving the power system with RAILS shaves another 26%. Our total power cost estimates demonstrate the true value of PowerNap with RAILS: our solution provides power cost reductions of nearly 80% for Web 2.0 servers and 70% for Enterprise IT.

To read the full text, please visit Wenisch’s site to download a PDF of the paper:

Monday, March 09, 2009

Finding the Silver Lining During an Economic Downturn

It seems, no matter which way you look these days, there’s more bad news. Job losses are up. The stock market is down. But not every business is focusing on the negative. In fact, there’s even a growing list of companies refusing to take part in the recession. As Jamie Turner at the 60 Second Marketer writes:

To be sure, times are tough. They’re downright B-A-D. But the world isn’t ending. The sky is not falling. In fact, you and your business will be here tomorrow and the next day — if you stop focusing on the negative and start focusing on the positive.

In light of this, I’d like to highlight one company who sees data center opportunity despite the poor economy: Juniper Networks. According to this article in Network World, Juniper has “launched an aggressive campaign to expand its enterprise business with a targeted assault on the data center.” They’ve announced a project, called Stratus, which their blog describes as an attempt to “create a single data center fabric with the flexibility and performance to scale to super data centers, while continuing to drive down the cost and complexity of managing the data center information infrastructure.”

And why announce Stratus now? Tom Nolle, president of consultancy CIMI Corp, explains: “Juniper cannot hope to match Cisco in breadth so it is making that an asset instead of a liability. Juniper is timing its success with Stratus to the economy's recovery and to developing symbioses with partners.”

That’s the kind of strategic, fighting spirit that helps a company come out on top, wouldn’t you say?