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.
judgecorp writes: The Mobyl Data Center,.designed for the US Department of Defense, puts a data center in a rugged suitcase-sized box, and it will shortly be available commercially. The box includes up to 88 Xeon cores a maximum of 176 GB of RAM, and 2.8 TB of SSD storage with 12TB of hard disk as an option. The system uses credit-card sized MobylPC server units, sealed in epoxy, and rated to survive 300g of shock, but apparently proprietary to the vendor, Arnouse Digital Devices Corp.
judgecorp writes: A proposed revision to the data center efficiency standard will delight the infantile by adding WEE to PUE. Seriously, PUE is widely used to compare data center efficiency, but critics say it is unfairly biased to sites in the Northern Hemisphere which can use evaporative cooling, and ignores the environmental impact of water use by data centers. Simply adding the evaporative energy of water to a measure based on electrical energy will face a lot of opposition however — on various grounds including science and marketing.
judgecorp writes: The Open Compute Project, the Facebook-backed effort to create low-cost open source hardware for data centers has come under fire for a slack testing regime. The criticism was first aired at The Register where an anonymous test engineer described the Projects testing as a 'complete and total joke'. The founding director of the project, Cole Crawford has penned an open letter in reply. The issue seems to be that the testing for standard highly-reliable hardware used by telcos and the like is very thorough and expensive. Some want the OCP to use more rigorous testing to replicate that level of reliability. Crawford argues that web-scale data centers are designed to cope with hardware failures, and 'Tier 1' reliability would be a waste of effort