The New York Times created a dustup in the datacenter world with its investigative report on the impact on the environment of cloud technology and data centers – a critical element in the administration's efforts to save money and energy, and increase efficiency and security. The "yearlong examination by The New York Times has revealed that this foundation of the information industry is sharply at odds with its image of sleek efficiency and environmental friendliness," the article states.
The article, Power, Pollution and the Internet, received nearly universal criticism from IT insiders, calling out the article's generalizations about a growing industry that is as diverse as it is complex.
Rich Miller, editor at Data Center Knowledge, writes that the Times' first installment "does an artful, fact-laden job of telling half the story." He acknowledges that many data centers can be more efficient, but takes issue with the fact that the Times article doesn't mention how
companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft have vastly improved the energy efficiency of their server farms by overhauling their power distribution systems, using fresh air instead of power-hungry chillers (“free cooling”) to cool their servers, and running their facilities at warmer temperatures. New design schemes for modular data centers have emerged, offering highly-efficient designs to customers with smaller operations than Google or Facebook. And we’re even seeing a growing focus on renewable energy, highlighted by Apple’s massive commitment to on-site solar energy and landfill-powered fuel cells.
Dan Woods, a Forbes contributor, is more pointed in his criticism, taking the Times to task for a "confused and incomplete article that is unworthy of its reputation." He writes:
The next problem is the concept of utilization itself. What would be a good utilization? The article never says. It just says that utilization is 7 to 12 percent. The unstated implication is that it should be a lot higher. But how higher? Should it be 100 percent? 75 percent? 50 percent? Knowing that number would be really excellent. The fact of the matter is that with very stable workloads it is possible to get high utilization and with variable workloads lower utilization would be expected, so you have room to handle spikes.
For more information, check Data Center Knowledge's roundup of coverage.
Posted on Sep 25, 2012 at 4:01 PM2 comments
The year 2012 may well go down as "the year of the tablet," writes Louie Herr on Digital Trends, and not just because of the number and variety of new tablets on the market. Herr lists the market disruptions already caused by tablets and others we might expect. Though these effects are more obvious in the consumer market, government IT watchers can see same transtormation in the public sector.
1. Death of notebooks
2. The decline of Flash and rise of HTML5
3. The rise of cloud storage
4. The rise of streaming video
5. "Tabletification" of the user interface
Read Herr's complete article: Tablets are changing the tech you use, whether you own one or not.
Posted on Sep 12, 2012 at 7:05 PM0 comments
Those Apple Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) leaked last week by AntiSec and thought to have been stolen from an FBI computer actually originated with BlueToad, a company that develops iOS apps for magazine publishers.
According to Wired, security consultant David Schuetz tracked the IDs to BlueToad by analyzing the 40-character numbers that appeared multiple times in the database, allowing him to trace "several of the devices to what appeared to be employees of Blue Toad."
After Schuetz contacted BlueToad, the company verified the data breach and alerted law enforcement and Apple, the New York Times reports.
BlueToad chief executive, Paul DeHart told the New York Times that his company had collected the UDIDs to keep count of how many people used its services, but it had abandoned that practice after it was discouraged by Apple.
The FBI has not commented on the news, nor has it updated its Sept. 4 statement that "there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data."
Posted on Sep 11, 2012 at 7:05 PM0 comments