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Comment power (Score 1) 170

I'm in the DC industry, we pay for 100% of the power we use, so we only use what we need. True we have to keep the lights on, the servers on, the cooling, and the rest of the support equipment. There are efficiencies lost in power conversion and everything else. We cannot control the idling servers -- that's what virtualization does, it helps move the loads to a common machine and eliminates waste. I get what the article is saying, but a DC normally can't control the customers processing.

Comment Re:I'm going to turn this around. (Score 1) 211


I've been in the biz for some time. Seen quite a few failures of other companies and it made an impression. I see there seem to be a bunch of Holy Wars going on in the thread "why do you need a DC, etc". I guess my response is, if you determine you need one, then the outline above is what I like to educate people on. Some people don't get it/can't afford it. Some boards of large corporations demand it, and sometimes, its a really difficult job when it comes to trying to meet every customers expectations. It's also very rewarding and challenging and I would do anything else with my time.

Comment Re:I'm going to turn this around. (Score 1) 211

Our building is approx 66K sq ft. about 22K sq ft. is raised floor. We have three 1.25MW gens and three 500 KW ups units. The batteries are wet cell C&D with a 20 year life. We replaced all 135 jars last year. Three strings of 45 batteries each currently. We're moving to four 500 units and each will have 60 jars each. Everything is 480V, the next gen power room will be 13K gear input and stepped to 480 at the distribution. Right now, I'd consider us tier 2/3 but we have designs to go to tier 4. The original spec as 65w/sq ft and we've upgraded it to 125w sq ft. The max we can probably eek out is 200w sq ft. The second phase will be a 15K monolithic space with chilled AC units and slightly different power distribution. The other space will be rated at 250w sq ft up to 500w sq ft.

I saw some of the other responses, in terms of certifications, years in business, redundancy in terms of data protection, etc. I think all of these questions are very specific. IF you want to eval a Datacenter in terms of management, track record, etc that's fine. But I think you need to generate a scope of what are the most important business needs you have. The outline I gave is generally the minimum I would go over, but the sales associate and customer service people go over many, many other things. Security is a huge concern, I'm happy to report that at least in our facility, we have a great security staff and NOC staff that give us 24x7 eyes. I think looking at the years in business is an OK measure, but more importantly is the track record of the people that run the show. Combined, I would say we have over 50 years between 3 people at the top, that doesn't count all of our techs and customer service. We have a solid track record, if it we're for Level3 and their inconsistency two years ago. Thank God we have NTT and Qwest as well.

Comment I'm going to turn this around. (Score 5, Interesting) 211

I am the Director of Operations for our DC. When we give tours, I explain the following (pseudo order of the tour):

- Begin with the history of the building, when it was built (1995), why it was build (result of Andrew in 1992), and how it is constructed (twin T, poured tilt wall).

- Take you through the gen room, show you it is internal to the building, show you the roofing structure from the inside, explain the N+1 redundancy, the hours on the gens, when they are ready for maintenance, how they are maintained, by whom (the vendor), how the diesel is stored, supplied, duration of fuel at max and current loads. Explain conduct before a hurricane or lockdown, how we go off grid 24hours ahead of a storm, mention our various contracts for after storm refill and our straining / refill schedule.
- Take you to the switch gear room, explain the dual feeds from the power company, how the switch gear works, show you the three main bus breakers, show you the numerous other breakers for various sub panels, etc. Explain and show you the spare breakers we have in case replacement is needed.
- Take you to the cooling tower area, explain the piping, the amount of water flowing, the number of pumps, how many are needed, the switching schedule, explain the N+1 capacity and overall capability of the towers, explain maintenance, show you the replacement pumps in stock, explain the concept of condensed water cooling if needed.
- Take you through the UPS and battery rooms, explain the needed KW capacity, what the UPSs back up and what they do not. Show the various distribution breakers out to floor, their capacity, the static switches, bypass, explain the battery capacity, type of cells, number of cells, number of strings, last time the jars were replaced and how they are maintained. Explain max capacity of the load vs time. Answer questions relevant to switching from utility->UPS->generator and back.

Raised floor:
- Take walk on raised floor, explain connectivity, vendors, path diversity we have, how the circuits are protected. Show them network gear, dual everything, how we protect from a LAN or WAN outage, and specific network devices we have for DDoS, Load Balancing, Distribution, Aggregation. Explain how telco and others deliver DS0 to OC-12 capacity, offer information on cross connections regarding copper, fiber, coax. Explain our offerings (dedicated servers up to 5K sq ft cages) and ask what they are interested in.
- Explain below the floor, size of raise, that power and network is delivered under, what are on level one trays, level two trays, and the piping for cooling. Show the PDU units and how they related to the breakers in the previous rooms. Show them the cooling panel and leads out to CRAC units, explain the cooling capacity, plans for future cooling, explain hot/cold aisle fundamentals, and temperature goals. At this point, there are usually more questions about vented tiles, power types available and overall floor density in watts/sq ft.
- Explain the fire detection / mitigation system, monitoring of PDU's, CRAC units, and FM200. Explain the maintenance of the fire system, show them the fire marshal inspection logs and the panels that alert the police and fire departments (both on floor and in our security office in front).
- While finishing the walk on the floor, show cameras, explain process to bring in and remove equipment, tell them the retention on the video, explain the rounds the guards make, the access list updates and changes.

- At this point we're back to the front of the building, go into the NOC, explain what we are monitoring (connectivity, weather, scheduled jobs, etc). Introduce NOC and security staff, explain they will always get a person if they call, submit a test ticket from a e-mail on my phone, they will see the alerts light up and the pager for the NOC will signal. The final steps are to introduce them to security and then I'll lead the customer(s) to the conference room so they can continue the conversation with the sales associate.

The sales person is normally with us. During the tour we will explain our SAS certifications and disclose any other NDA information. I see two types of tours, the first is the discovery tour, which is when a company or government entity is on a fact finding mission to see if we are close to their needs, then they talk with the SA. The other type (more common) are the tours taken after the agreement has been worked out and this is the final "sales" procedure. Our facility really sells itself. Once on tour, most sign up (if they are serious) within 24 hours. I probably missed a few things, so if you want me to follow up I can. For me, everything I present are things the customer NEEDS to know before installing in my building.


Comment Re:Too bad (Score 1) 88

It's been poorly run for a long, long time. As an administrator who occasionally had a customer who was blocked by their fault system, I can tell you they have less then a good attitude. Joey, if you ready this, you can suck my nuts. At least Matti will help you if you need it.

Comment Re:it allow you to know your friends better (Score 1) 358

If they are a true friend and have a past, they will let you know. True friends disclose things, of course, the opposite can be said, would you want your friends digging into your past? How about if you were gay and that had nothing to do with your relationship with a friend, but thought he would freak if you told him?

Unless there is a victim at risk (kids, handicapped person in your life that your friendship exposes them to your friends) or if you've asked them about things in their history I don't see how it is relevant.

Comment Nice app, but (Score 1) 358

Next well need to track them real time so when you are at a baseball game you know who is behind you. Tether everyone to a GPS unit and make sure that an alarm goes off when they look in your direction. Honestly, what the hell ever happened to you don't talk to strangers? Many people know their attackers, because they gain access, which mean the parents are not doing their job. Sorry, but all the tech in the wolrd does not justify tracking people who may have committed a crime and there is no proof they will do it again. Even if there is a propencity, today anyone who is convicted is put through the ringer, has to register, can't find work, a place to live, goes to mandatory therapy, is tracked. If they go through all this and have served their time, there is no justification to keep badgering them. You give them an impossible set of rules to follow, they are going to give up because they will feel doomed to failure. And the rules for where they can live are ludicrous, weather it is 50 feet for 10,000 feet, if they want to offend they will. All this fell-good legislation does is try to get politicians re-elected.

Don't get me wrong, you do something once, and you're given a second chance (a real chance) and I am fine with judges handing out what they think is fair based on the case evidence and their knowledge of the average cases they preside over. And if they are lucky enough to get a "deal" and spare a costly trial, putting the victims through more, etc then I can agree with a plea that gives them some punishment, some supervision and a ton of therapy. If the person does it again, well, sorry, your dance card is used up and they have proven their inability or desire to change.

Comment I built a model Maglev. (Score 4, Interesting) 535

Throughout high school, I was forced to do Science Fair projects. I picked MagLev's. I did experiments, wound my own coils, did a bunch of different tests and moved my project along in different phases during freshman to junior years. Senior year I was able to get a mini grant and order from Scientific American for some rare earth magnets. It was not as automated as I liked, but I had built stepping logic and used my own coils to at least show things are possible. If you've been to Epcot there is a demo which was very close to what I built in my senior year. I can't say they were equivalent. I was very depressed once I saw it, but then again I was only 15, and it was Disney, they had all the toys.

Fast forward to college. Senior project and after taking all the courses in logic, programming, processors, etc I then found out what I could use to make my toy work. So, I spoke to my advisor, he loved the idea. I spent that summer winding coils with 26 gauge wire. I made a length of track two feet long and I it used 48 coils. I used sewing machine bobbins as the sizing. I cut a 3/4" pvc pipe so that I could slide in each coil and get to the leads. This gave me four sections of track, each with 12 coils. The coils were wired in series so that we had a pattern ABCABCABCABC. The logic I built would pulse the A group at 12v, the B group at 9v and the C group at 6v. This created a "wave" that would "push" the train in the desired direction. To go the other direction, all you had to do was flip a DPDT relay and switch A with C.

The brains were provided by a Parallax Stamp 2. This thing was great. I could have multiple inputs and outputs to make everything work. I used som buffers to make sure I didnt kill the chip with draw and I used logic to drive transistors that tripped 12v relays for the juice. When working, the train could go one direction or the other, depending on how the coils were energized. Since the track was only 24" long, I used optical led sets to detect where the car was. These inputs were fed into the stamp. Based on direction and track section the car was on, the group of 12 coils were the car left was turned off, and the section the train was about to enter was turned on. Of course, there were always two sections on so if the train was in section 2 going to section 3, then the stamp knew to switch off 1 and turn on 3, leaving 2 running. The car was pulsed slow, so it had time. Was not as smooth as I liked.

Had to use a huge power supply, 12v 30a, tho I think it only used between 8 and 10. I still have it on a shelf behind me. Maybe one day I'll dust it off and see how I can improve on it. It blew away everyone else's project. Once I started the car rolling, it would happily go back and forth all day long. It was stable (temperature wise) and if you ignored the clacking relays, it was fun to watch.

It is not the coolest thing I've ever worked on or designed, but in terms of what I put into it and the fact it was my brainchild, I'm totally thrilled with it to this day.

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