judgecorp writes: ING Bank's Romanian data center was taken down by what has been described as a "loud noise". A million customers were effected as the bank's online operations failed for ten hours. In fact, during a test of the bank's fire suppression system, a sudden release of inert gas created a shockwave, and the vibration damaged the hard drives in the data center's storage systems. This sounds exotic, but it's a well-known data center problem, so the question is — why was the fire suppression badly designed, and why was it tested at lunch time on a business day?
judgecorp writes: The Chinese are launching a quantum communications satellite in July, that could be the basis of an unbreakably encrypted global network. It's a collaboration between Professors Pan Jianwei of China and Anton Zieliger of Austria, who went with a Chinese satellete as the European Space Agency was too unresponsive. Quantum key distribution remains the most practical application for quantum physics in IT, although investment in quantum computing itself continues
judgecorp writes: Microsoft's experiment with running a data center at the bottom of the ocean was not a one-off science experiment. The scheme was driven by a need to offer more data center units at lower cost, and lights-out operation has made it possible to consider leaving servers 600 ft underwater for two years at a time. Larger test runs will follow.
judgecorp writes: The White Datacenter project in Bibai City, Hokkaido, is cooled in summer by winter snow. The region gets up to 11m of snow in winter, and stores mounds of it under a layer of insulating material. The snow gradually melts in summer, and the cold water is used in data center chillers. During winter, the waste heat from the site is used in greenhouses.
judgecorp writes: Google has elected to open up some of its data center designs, which it has till now kept to itself. Google has joined the Open Compute Project, which was set up by Facebook to share low-cost no-frills data center hardware specifications. Google will offer up its ideas for a rack which uses 48V DC power distribution, increasing energy efficiency by 30 percent thanks to a reduction in the number of times the power goes through transformers
judgecorp writes: A Microsoft Research project to run a data center underwater was so successful the team actually delivered commercial Azure cloud services from the module, which was 1km off the US Pacific coast for three months. The vessel, dubbed Leona Philpot after a Halo character, is a proof of concept for Project Natick, which proposes small data centers that could be submerged for five years or more, serving coastal communities.
judgecorp writes: Nissan has announced a scheme to re-use batteries from its Leaf cars in systems designed to ease the strain on the electrical grid by shaving peaks in demand and making it easier to integrate renewables. After five years powering a car, a 24kWh battery still has 20kWh charging capacity and can act as local storage for a UPS (from Nissan's partner Eaton). with multiple batteries in use, the system could support an IT room or a small enterprise data center — or deliver a small electric grid to a village in Africa, or anywhere that doesn't have a proper grid.
judgecorp writes: On Monday, 90 percent of Azerbaijan lost Internet access, due to a fire at one data center in Baku, the capital of the former Soviet Republic. Cables caught fire at the Delta Telecom facility, and international providers including NTT and Telecom Italia all lost service for nearly eight hours.
judgecorp writes: UK contractors Balfour Beatty and Norland have been fined £380,000 ($580k) after an electrician was electrocuted while working on a data center owned by finance firm Morgan Stanley. The fine follows mounting concern that safety is being compromised because of the need for data centers to remain online non-stop. This leads to pressure for contractors to work on live power supplies.
judgecorp writes: Data center firm Interxion has been ordered to close a data center in Paris over protests from residents. The local group complained about noise and large quantities of stored diesel fuel at the site, saying that the consultation which allowed it to open in 2012 was flawed. Now Interxion's license has been revoked and it has two months to appeal
judgecorp writes: Bitcoin mining pushes the limits of tech, but in datacenters which are run on a shoestring. Data center writer David Chernicoff visited a barn in Iceland which operates with no physical security, no backup generators and burns 1kW per squre foot of floor space — and compares it with the norm for data centers.