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+ - Huge Bitcoin Mines Spring up in Warehouses, Some Data Centers Remain Wary

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "What will the future of Bitcoin infrastructure look like? The Bitcoin mining craze is driving the creation of "hashing centers" — huge high-density, low-budget mining facilities optimized for rapid changes in hardware and economics. These mining facilities are often built in old warehouses, and house servers on shelving from hardware stores, skipping the expensive power backup equipment found in most commercial data centers. This poses a challenge for service providers, who love big customers but are wary of the Bitcoin sector and its economics, incouding the focus on short-term contracts. Some data centers are adapting, deploying space optimized for crypto miners, with the network and cooling systems on UPS, but not the power supplies."

+ - Data Center With A Brain: Google Using Machine Learning in Server Farms->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Google has begun using machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze the oceans of data it collects about its server farms and recommend ways to improve them. Google data center executive Joe Kava said the use of neural networks will allow Google to reach new frontiers in efficiency in its server farms, moving beyond what its engineers can see and analyze. Google's data centers aren't yet ready to drive themselves. But the new tools have been able to predict Google’s data center performance with 99.96 percent accuracy."
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+ - Microsoft Plans $1 Billion Server Farm in Iowa->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Microsoft will invest $1.1 billion to build a massive new server farm in Iowa, not far from an existing data center in West Des Moines. The 1.2 million square foot campus will be one of the biggest in the history of the data center industry. It further enhances Iowa's status as the data center capital of the Midwest,, with Google and Facebook also operating huge server farms in the state."
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+ - The Bitcoin Death Star: KnC Plans 10 Megawatt Data Center in Sweden->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Bitcoin hardware vendor KnC Miner has begun construction on a a 10 megawatt data center in Sweden that it will fill with high-powered computers mining for cryptocurrency. KnC has emerged as a leading vendor in the volatile market for ASIC mining rigs, focusing on underpromising and overdelivering. One goal of its move into cloud mining is to cushion any fallout from delivery delays on new hardware, which have been a sore point for miners in the fast-moving Bitcoin market. "Over the next few months we are bringing online enough hashing power to make sure that any delay in the Neptune timeline will be compensated with a completely free hosted hashing packages to all fully paid customers," KnC says in its newsletter."
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+ - Microsoft Joins Open Compute Project, Will Share Server Designs->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Microsoft has joined the Open Compute Project and will be contributing specs and designs for the cloud servers that power Bing, Windows Azure and Office 365. “We came to the conclusion that sharing these hardware innovations will help us accelerate the growth of cloud computing,” said Kushagra Vaid, Microsoft's General Manager of Cloud Server Engineering. The company is also releasing its Chassis Manager software that manages its servers, fans and power, which which is now available on GitHub. "We would like to help build an open source software community within OCP as well," said Microsoft's Bill Laing. Microsoft's cloud server hardware is built around a 12U chassis that can house up to 24 server and storage blades, offering a different approach from the current Open Compute server and storage designs."
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+ - As Bitcoin Infrastructure Booms, Mining Heads to the Data Center-> 1

Submitted by miller60
miller60 (554835) writes "After getting started in garages and server closets, Bitcoin mining is moving into data centers and the cloud. Large mining operations are beginning to follow the example of their forerunners in hyperscale computing, shifting compute capacity to remote areas with cheap power, including Iceland and central Washington. Some are using leasing data centers from major providers, while some bitcoin entrepreneurs are developing custom facilities to house high-density hardware, ranging from makeshift server farms in warehouses packed with fans, all the way to futuristic racks of sleek, liquid-cooled immersion rigs in Hong Kong."
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+ - Who makes the best disk drives?-> 1

Submitted by Hamsterdan
Hamsterdan (815291) writes "Backblaze, which open sourced their Storage Pod a few years ago, is now giving drive failure rates. They currently have over 27,000 consumer grade drives spinning in Backblaze storage pods.

Almost 13,000 each are Seagate and Hitachi drives, almost 3000 Western Digital drives and a too small for statistical reporting smattering of Toshiba and Samsung drives.

One cool thing: Backblaze buys drives the way you and I do: they get the cheapest drives that will work. Their workload is almost hundred percent write. Because they spread the incoming writes over several drives their workload isn't very performance intensive either."

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+ - Why Bitcoin Matters

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Marc Andreessen writes in an op-ed in the NYT that Bitcoin is an Internet-wide distributed ledger that gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. "The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate," writes Andreessen. "Anyone in the world can pay anyone else in the world any amount of value of Bitcoin by simply transferring ownership of the corresponding slot in the ledger." Andreessen says that Bitcoin can be a powerful force to bring a much larger number of people around the world into the modern economic system. "Only about 20 countries around the world have what we would consider to be fully modern banking and payment systems; the other roughly 175 have a long way to go. As a result, many people in many countries are excluded from products and services that we in the West take for granted." Another use for Bitcoin is micropayments. "Bitcoins have the nifty property of infinite divisibility: currently down to eight decimal places after the dot, but more in the future. So you can specify an arbitrarily small amount of money, like a thousandth of a penny, and send it to anyone in the world for free or near-free," writes Andreessen. "Another potential use of Bitcoin micropayments is to fight spam. Future email systems and social networks could refuse to accept incoming messages unless they were accompanied with tiny amounts of Bitcoin – tiny enough to not matter to the sender, but large enough to deter spammers, who today can send uncounted billions of spam messages for free with impunity." Finally says Andreessen there's been a lot of sensationalistic press coverage that Bitcoin is a haven for bad behavior, for criminals and terrorists to transfer money anonymously with impunity. "Much like email, which is quite traceable, Bitcoin is pseudonymous, not anonymous," says Andreessen. "Every transaction in the Bitcoin network is tracked and logged forever in the Bitcoin blockchain, or permanent record, available for all to see. As a result, Bitcoin is considerably easier for law enforcement to trace than cash, gold or diamonds." Bitcoin offers a sweeping vista of opportunity to reimagine how the financial system can and should work in the Internet era concludes Andreessen, and "a catalyst to reshape that system in ways that are more powerful for individuals and businesses alike.""

+ - Opscode Rebrands as Chef, Will Double Engineering Staff->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Chef, the software, is becoming Chef, the company. Opscode has rebranded itself as Chef, unveiling its new identity along with $32 million in funding, which the company says it will use to double its engineering and sales staff over the next year. The move reflects the rising profile of Chef, an open source framework for configuration management. Chef is a key tools for DevOps at Facebook and other hyperscale companies, but is also gaining traction with enterprises seeking to speed their ability to deploy software updates."
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+ - Facebook Admins Each Manage 20,000 Servers->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Each Facebook data center operations staffer can manage at least 20,000 servers, the company said this week at the 7x24 Exchange conference. This performance appears to break new ground in the server-to-admin ratio, which has rarely exceeded 10,000 to 1, according to High Scalability. Facebook says its admin productivity is the result of software-driven automation, communication between internal teams, and a hardware design process that focuses on serviceability and tool-less maintenance."
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+ - Sears to Convert Old Auto Centers into National Chain of Data Centers ->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Sears plans to convert dozens of Sears Auto Center stores into a national chain of server farms, saying it wants to be “the McDonald’s or Starbucks of data centers.” The strategy is an evolution of Sears Holdings' previously announced plan to turn old Sears and Kmart stores into IT centers. Instead, it will focus on the more than 700 Sears Auto Centers, which include many stand-alone cement buildings on mall perimeters. Ubiquity Critical Environments, the data center arm of Sears, will team with Schneider Electric to turn these sites into data centers. They'll use repeatable modular designs to add power and cooling infrastructure, targeting at least 23 smaller cities where there currently aren't many options for IT outsourcing."
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+ - Ballmer: Microsoft Has 1 Million Servers->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Microsoft now has more than 1 million servers in its data centers, CEO Steve Ballmer said at last week’s Worldwide Partner Conference. In his keynote, Ballmer handicapped the size of the server platforms for the world’s leading cloud computing providers, saying Microsoft was second-largest behind Google (which reportedly had 900,000 servers back in 2011). Why is Ballmer talking about server counts? "I claim there really are almost no companies in the world, just a handful, that are really investing in scaled public cloud infrastructure," he said. "(Cloud) puts a lot of pressure on us to make sure that we have world-class infrastructure across the world ... And we are investing in that infrastructure." Many cloud players still don't disclose server counts. Here's a list of those who do."
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+ - The Immersion Data Center: Submerged Servers at Scale-> 1

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "A geoscience company has converted an entire data center to immersion cooling, with servers submerged in a liquid similar to mineral oil. The company has dozens of "server tanks" each packed with 42 servers immersed in liquid coolant from Green Revolution Cooling, the Austin startup that has been working with Intel to adapt its technology for broader use. Will this be what high-density data centers will look like in coming years? Data Center Knowledge has a tour and a look at process involved in taking the plunge with immersion cooling."
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+ - Server Farms Flourish in Iowa: Microsoft Ploughs $700M More into Des Moines->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "A big chunk of the Azure cloud will be living on the plains of Iowa. Microsoft will invest another $700 million to expand its Iowa data center campus near Des Moines, marking the third major server farm for the state this year. Facebook recently announced a new data center in Altoona. The same day, Google said it would plough another $400 million into its facility in Council Bluffs. Why Iowa? Aggressive tax incentives and a central location to bridge the distance between these companies' east and west coast server footprints."
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