Category Archives: Hardware

Salesforce.com and HP Join Forces to Offer Exclusive “Pods” in Data Center

Over at ComputerworldUK, Derek du Preez reports that Salesforce.com has enlisted the help of Hewlett-Packard to make so-called “Superpods” available to larger enterprises. The move will allow selected companies to have their own dedicated infrastructure in Salesforce.com’s cloud and will migrate away from the multitenancy model to create better security and customization.

“The Superpod was a particularly interesting announcement from Salesforce, given that in the past Benioff has consistently expressed the view that private cloud environments, which aren’t multi-tenant’, are not ‘real’ cloud environments. Denecken added that a ‘rip and replace with cloud’ approach for all areas of IT shouldn’t be the focus for enterprises, they should be looking at complete end-to-end business processes and using cloud where appropriate.

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CoolIT Systems is Chosen By Leeds University to Test Energy Efficiency in Data Centers

CoolIT Systems has announced that Leeds University is to employ its liquid cooling technologies for cloud-based strategies. The University sees this research in cooling as a means to enhance its already formidable reputation in green computing.

“A new collaboration between CoolIT Systems, Canada, and the Schools of Computing and Mechanical Engineering at University of Leeds (member of the prestigious Russell Group of 24 research-intensive universities) has been setup to analyse the influence of proximity liquid cooling on cloud based workload algorithms. The University has already received awards for analysis and development of Green IT solutions in the past couple of years.

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Job of the Week: Cloud Data Center Hardware Operations Engineer at HP

Hewlett-Packard in Reston, VA is looking for a Cloud Data Center Hardware Operations Engineer in our Job of the Week.

“As an Operations Technician, you’ll install, configure, test, troubleshoot and maintain hardware (like servers and its components) and server software you’ll also tackle the configuration of more complex components such as networks, routers, switches and networking protocols. You’ll participate in or lead small project teams on larger installations and develop project contingency plans. A typical day involves manual movement and installation of racks, and while it can sometimes be physically demanding, you are excited to work with infrastructure that is at the cutting-edge of computer technology.

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Senior Director of Cloud at Logicalis Talks Cloud Migration Strategies

Over at CloudTweaks, Kevin Gruneisen of Logicalis writes about employing a plan to get your company to the cloud. Mr. Gruneisen believes that leap should start with a thorough assessment of your current IT environment and should also include technology considerations along with businesses objectives as well.

“A detailed assessment will identify what resources are being used effectively as well as where there are inefficiencies associated with server sprawl. A large enterprise I visited recently had multiple, highly-virtualized server farms. An examination of how these resources were being used, however, revealed that one was only operating at 20 percent capacity and another one the same size was only 30 percent utilized.

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Rackspace Turns to SSDs to Vastly Improve I/O

At InformationWeek, Charles Babcock reports that Rackspace has figured out a way to get an incredible 132X boost in I/O throughput using solid state disks. The amalgam of SSDs, more RAM, and faster processors combine to take cloud server performance to an all-time high.

“It’s tying each virtual machine to its multi-tenant host with 40 Gbps of “highly available throughput to the host,” the announcement said. The 40 Gbps measure appears to stem from multiple 10-Gbps Ethernet ports being available to each Performance server, with a total throughput amounting to 40 Gbps. Most cloud virtual servers today are communicating with the host over either a 10-Gbps Ethernet link or a 1-Gbps link.

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California Energy Commission Study Validates Energy Savings fromk Asetek

The study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows results that validate Asetek’s claims of 50% and higher reductions in data center cooling costs with RackCDU D2C.  The study also shows that IT server power load is significantly reduced.

“One surprising result of the study is that substantial savings are achievable by connecting RackCDU to existing chilled water systems,” notes Henry Coles, Program Manager at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “The ability to achieve savings by simply tapping into existing chilled water systems broadens the base of data centers that will find deploying RackCDU attractive.”

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Amazon and Microsoft Azure have Competion in the Data Center World

Cloud giants AWS and Microsoft Azure are facing competition from up-and-coming players like SoftLayer, Tier 3, and ViaWest in cloud-driven data centers.

“The latest move comes from ViaWest, which launched an enhanced channel partner program today. The goal: Promote colocation services as a stepping stone to cloud and managed services, both for channel partners and their customers. ViaWest Senior VP of Sales and Marketing Christopher Rajiah is driving the partner program. He’s a familiar name across the cloud and IT channel markets. Rajiah previously led Rackspace’s (RAX) partner program, and earlier he drove channel engagements at Extreme Networks.

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Violin and Microsoft Join Forces to Optimize Cloud Applications

Violin Memory has announced that its scale-out memory solutions have been optimized for Windows Server 2012 R2 for high-end storage products. Using Windows applications natively on the the platform allows customers higher performance, scalability and ROI.

“Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers groundbreaking scalability to enable customers to evolve their virtualized and global-scale cloud environments,” said Chris Phillips, Partner Director PM at Microsoft. “By using Windows Server 2012 R2 with the Violin Memory scale-out memory array platform, our joint customers can achieve the scalability and performance requirements of their most demanding workloads in the cloud.”

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Mellanox VPI Technology Powers Data Centers and Storage Solutions

Mellanox has announced an end-to-end Virtual Protocol Interconnect (VPI) to power private cloud for the enterprise. The architecture is based on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and uses Mellanox RDMA-enabled InfiniBand and Ethernet interconnects.

 “We’re pleased to see a customer such as Pensions First take advantage of the trailblazing functionality of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V, as well as SQL Server 2012, and gaining speed, efficiency, and flexibility with Mellanox RDMA-based InfiniBand and Ethernet interconnects,” said Chris Phillips, Partner Director PM at Microsoft.

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Press Release: CoolIT Systems Takes on a new Partner in CoinTerra

CoolIT enters into partnership with CoinTerra, the performance and value leader in Bitcoin ASIC Mining solutions. CoolIT’s cooling products–used in HPC, cloud and enterprise–are a natural fit for the high performance processor company.

“Working with an industry pioneer like CoinTerra® is an important step towards liquid cooling becoming an industry standard,” said Geoff Lyon, CEO of CoolIT Systems. “We started CoolIT Systems to deliver on the promise of maximizing the performance of well designed silicon through better cooling technology. CoinTerra’s ASIC chip, The GoldStrike1™ combined with CoolIT’s DCLC™ can do just that.”

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Intel Reveals Latest Xeon Chip Aimed at Cloud and Data Analysis

Over at ITProPortal, Damon Poeter reports that Intel has announced the arrival of the 22-nanometer Xeon E5 2600 v2 at the Intel Developer Forum this week. The processors are more energy efficient than past ones and show a 50% increase in performance aimed at the cloud and Big Data worlds.

“The next-generation processors have set 15 new dual-socket performance world records across benchmarking tests that measure computing performance in areas like running databases, enterprise computing, web services, technical computing, virtualisation, and energy efficiency, said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Datacenter and Connected Systems Group.

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New Penguin Ethernet Switches Have Built-in Cumulus Linux

Today Penguin Computing announced its new Arctica line of Ethernet network switches, the first ethernet switches on the market with Cumulus Linux pre-installed.

The network world is moving from proprietary network stacks to an open ecosystem that offers more choice, cost-effectiveness and flexibility. Within this ecosystem our native Linux distribution Cumulus Linux enables customers to leverage existing Linux expertise and tools to build and manage their networking infrastructures at a much lower price point than traditional switch offerings”, said William Choe, Head of Business Development at Cumulus Networks. “Through Penguin’s Arctica network switches, customers can take advantage of Cumulus Linux while enjoying Penguin Computing’s enterprise level support and maintenance for switch hardware and software.”

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Canara: Delivering Better Power Systems with Advanced Analytics

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In this slidecast, Tom Barton from Canara describes the company’s innovate UPS power solutions for the datacenter.

The battery monitoring system is built with interoperability in mind. The system captures battery data from standard Canara battery monitors but also supports integration of data captured on any other battery monitoring solution. All data captured is accessible via Canara Connect, a locally hosted application that provides anytime-anywhere access to your battery health. Through Canara Connect, you can consolidate data from multiple battery systems into a single online dashboard and generate informative reports to guide your decision making.”

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CoollT Systems Announces Sponsorship at ISC ’13

CoollT Systems shows of its liquid cooling technologies for HPC, enterprise servers and data centers by sponsoring the big event in Leipzig, Germany.

Experts agree that Direct Contact Liquid Cooling is an important strategy for cooling efficiency and with over 1M DCLC™ units sold, CoolIT can prove it. CoolIT’s Rack DCLC™ solution applies well over a decade of liquid cooling experience and expertise to high performance and high frequency computing.

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Slidecast: Mellanox Rolls Out Virtual Modular Switch

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In this slidecast, Gilad Shainer from Mellanox presents an overview of the company’s new Virtual Modular Switch.

Cloud, Web 2.0, and enterprise data centers which require large aggregation Ethernet switch networks are moving away from legacy modular switches, due to high expenses and rapid obsolescence, to fixed switches that bring scalability and efficiency,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “The Mellanox Virtual Modular Switch solution, comprised of Mellanox’s 10, 40 and 56GbE switches, enables our customers to achieve a new level of scalability, while future-proofing their investment and reducing expenses.”

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Dell Bolsters End-to-End Mission with Citrix-Based Environments

Over at Information Week, Michael Endler writes that Dell has been moving out of the strictly PC market and into the enterprise arena by adopting cloud technologies.

The announcements include a version of Dell’s Active System 800 converged infrastructure line optimized for Citrix XenDesktop. The product is a pre-integrated system that fits server, storage and networking into a modest footprint. It includes Active System Manager, which facilitates single pane management of both physical and virtual assets.

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Mellanox Reveals a Flexible Alternative to Closed-Code Ethernet Switches

Mellanox introduces an open Ethernet switch initiative designed to give users custom designs and superb return on investment.

The market’s move toward SDN and open source networking offers a variety of advantages that help drive data center productivity and currently is not available with traditional proprietary software,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “Our demonstration with Quagga highlights the power of Open Ethernet to provide the capability to fully customize open source software packages on top of Mellanox 40 and 56GbE switches, enabling our customers to add differentiation and competitive advantages in their networking infrastructure while reducing cost.”

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Penguin Computing Unveils Large-Scale Storage Platform

Penguin Computing has revealed its new Cloud CS Storage Platform that will utilize Scality’s RING Organic Storage software.

Performance, availability and scalability requirements of large scale cloud businesses cannot be met with traditional IT approaches to storage, that typically excel in one of these areas and fall short in another,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO Penguin Computing. “To meet the demands of our customers that require storage solutions at the petabyte scale we based our large scale storage appliance Icebreaker CS on software from Scality. With its distributed no-shared architecture and its sophisticated Advanced Resilience Configuration, Scality RING offers excellent storage scalability and great availability without compromising performance.”

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