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Comment What scale data center? (Score 2) 320

I can't imagine trying to perform network management with a few mac minis so I'm assuming you're referring to a very small facility? Our new data center was built on 10-gig infrastructure and our NM is appropriately scaled--NetScout Infinistreams connected to Gigamon matrix switches. While the Gigamons were quite expensive they allowed us to utilize fewer Infinistreams while also providing some very cool functionality.

It look a long time for our upper management (those with the dollars) to come around to the notion that, in order to realize the full investment made in the data center, true network management needed to be baked in from the start.

Comment Re:Not even good lies (Score 5, Insightful) 451

Let's take a closer look at this list:

1) Sputnik 1 (first satellite): 1957
2) Yuri Gagarin (first man in space, first orbit): 1961
3) Valentina Tereshkova (first woman in space): 1963
4) Luna 2 (first [successful] moon probe): 1959
5) According to Wikipedia, every Soviet Mars mission prior to Mariner 4 (first Mars fly-by [US]) failed.
6) According to Wikipedia, every Soviet Venus mission prior to Mariner 2 (first Venus fly-by [US]) failed.
7) Salyut 1 (first space station): 1971

So other than their currently operating Soyuz craft, the most recent entry on your list is over 40 years old. I understand the point you were trying to make, but you have to keep in mind that things change, and the current Soviet space program is not nearly as noteworthy as the space program you described.

Comment Re:What about... (Score 1) 170

Beyond the storage requirement (which I believe you're seriously underestimating), no AMI system in the US has the bandwidth to handle that kind of traffic. Most of them use unlicensed spectrum in the 902-928MHz band (FCC Part 15 rules) going peer to peer until they get to a bigger pipe for the back haul. The networks simply aren't designed to handle that much data. Remember, you're talking about 1,800 data points per hour per meter. I know for a fact we can't ramp up for that, and I know for a fact that the three technologies used by most of the utilities in the US (Landis+Gyr Gridstream, Itron Openway, and SilverSpring Networks) can't handle it, either.

Comment There's no way this is right (Score 3, Informative) 170

I work for a large utility that is currently implementing an AMI system. I can tell you from first hand knowledge that no utility gets (or wants) usage data from its customers every 2 seconds. At my utility we collect usage in 1 hour bins for residential customers and 15 minute bins for commercial and industrial customers. The amount of database storage we would need to collect 2 second interval data from all of our customers would be staggering. As it is we've had to invest in a large server farm to handle the data we are getting.

If I had to guess I'd say that the 2 second intervals are for in-home monitoring using a ZigBee HAN, or something similar (the EasyMeter website is in German and does not appear to have much technical info).

Comment I've never understood (Score 3, Interesting) 97

As someone who has worked on distribution automation for a large electric utility for the past 13 years, I've never understood the fascination with the cyber aspect of securing the grid. It would be far easier to cause a major outage with a 4x4 truck and a few pounds of high explosive, yet I don't recall a single attack of any type against a transmission tower anywhere in the U.S.. As for intercepting and deciphering meter data (a truly non-trivial task), it would be far easier for thieves to simply watch the houses in a given neighborhood, a la Home Alone.

The residential meters do have disconnect capability, but by design this functionality ignores broadcasts. Therefore a hacker could only affect a single residence at a time, and even then only if they knew the encrypted disconnect command. An insider attack is the only real threat, and that is not addressed here.

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