Tag Archives: China

Monday data center tidbits.

First up today is the story about cloud provider data center revenues. Rackspace is 100% correct to measure this as revenue per server. In terms of the business bottom line, resource revenue vs resource cost is the meaningful number. ARPU is useful in telling you if you’re not diversified enough on your customer base (too high a revenue number from too small a customer base) or for comparing the cost of acquiring a customer to the revenue from that customer but it doesn’t you the actual economics of running the service.

Second is the story about recycling former data center dedicated servers into a cloud computing system. As long as the hardware is adequate to serve the purpose, this is a great idea. Reliability is always a concern, but a well maintained server with a reasonable amount of runtime that isn’t totally ancient is going to be much more reliable than a brand new server (most hardware failures occur soon after a server is put into service).

Last up is the story that the Google hack has been tied to China but not conclusively. I’ll just note here that 90% of the brute force SSH attacks I see on my servers here are Chinese IP addresses, with most of the rest being South Korea.

Call or email me or visit the SwiftWater Telecom web site for green data center and cloud computing services minus the hype.


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Friday data center tidbits.

First up today is the story about the University of Pennsylvania overheating its data center due to human error. What can we all take away from this fiasco? Don’t mess with equipment that you don’t have an engineered maintenance plan for, monitor your data center so you know BEFORE environmental conditions get out of control, and turning the cooling back on is a better option than shutting the whole thing down. There’s a data center bozo of the day award in the mail,

Second up, it turns out that Microsoft knew of the Internet Explorer vulnerability that was used to attack Google way back in August of 2009. Do you feel like trusting Microsoft with ANYTHING in your data center?

Cloud powered virtual bundles are here!


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The virtual data center, whose “cloud” is it anyway?

I’ve been reading this morning about “opening the cloud”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such total misunderstanding about what “the cloud” really is.

First of all, there is no “the cloud” (I cringe every time I hear that said). Google has a cloud, Amazon has a cloud, SwiftWater Telecom has a cloud (that’s us 🙂 ). There is no giant, amorphous, entity identifiable as “the cloud” (it’s almost as bad as hearing people talk about “the Google”).

Next is the idea of wresting “the cloud” away from corporate and government control, as if there’s something inherently wrong with “cloud capitalism”. Companies that provide cloud based services are not just “organizing” things on “the cloud”. The money for servers, facilities, and software for a cloud don’t magically appear from nowhere. If you want a free cloud with no corporate attachment, ante up and build one yourself, then you can give it away for free to whoever you like.

The idea that Google’s fight with China, which has devolved to censorship of Google’s search engine results, has anything to do with fighting for control of “the cloud” is ridiculous. It has everything to do with censorship, not with any legitimate security concern of China. And yes, Google owns their cloud that they provide Gmail from. It’s Google’s right to operate their facilities the way they see fit, it’s their property.

I don’t really know what to say about the idea that Google is creating a “cloud” of 10 million books (all I can picture is getting rained on by encyclopedias). I’m not commenting on Google’s plan to put books online, but I’m not sure what the connection is between digitizing books and using cloud powered services to store or disseminate them. Calling Wikipedia a “cloud” is just as incomprehensible.

I don’t believe there’s any lack of competition in cloud computing, as asserted by the article. There’s no way that “the Google” can stop me from building a cloud, acquiring customers for my cloud, or control the content or services of my cloud (I havn’t gotten any cease and desist letters from them yet). I don’t know how any corporate entity could possibly manage to control “the cloud”, you might as well try to take over the entire Internet (What are we going to do tonight, Brain? The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!)

The fact is, cloud computing advances all the social agendas listed. You can use someone’s cloud powered apps (SaaS, software as a service), you can use a cloud to develop and run your own apps (PaaS, platform as a service), or you can have a cloud powered virtual server of your very own (IaaS, infrastructure as a service). All this comes with far lower cost and lower barrier to entry. People who could never have afforded a data center dedicated or co-located server can now have their own virtual server, completely under their control. Doesn’t sound much like evil corporations trying to rule the cloud, does it?

It’s time to embrace cloud computing and stop babbling about mythical corporate overlords. This isn’t Skynet and the Terminators aren’t on their way.


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Saturday data center tidbits.

First up is reading about the performance issues with Amazon’s EC2 data center cloud system. You can argue back and forth about over capacity or not but 1000ms latency is a serious problem. If you’re running interactive services, such as virtual workstations, the cloud is all about the customer experience and that experience should be an all hands on deck alarm.

Next up is reading about the recent attacks on Google pointing to problems with the idea of cloud computing. I don’t understand why people can’t see why bad system administration practices or risky user behaviors (malware, phishing) on cloud based virtuals aren’t the real problem, just exactly like they are on dedicated servers. I have yet to see ANY “cloud computing security problem” that wouldn’t have happened EXACTLY the same way on dedicated servers. Neither cloud computing nor traditional dedicated servers are a panacea for bozo system administration or inviting the attacker in.


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Wednesday data center tidbits.

First up this morning is the story about Bell Labs and Green Touch committing to reduce the power consumption of data networks by 1000x. I’m not sure that kind of a gain is achievable but I’m fairly certain this is low on the bang for the buck scale.

Second up is the revelation that Google is seriously considering walking away from China over rampant cyber attacks on its data centers. This surprises me not in the least. 99% of the attacks on my servers here are from China, with the remaining amount from Korea and Eastern Europe.

Finally we have an article on preventing cascading failures in the data center. Balancing power loads is absolutely critical to data center reliability, especially when 3 phase AC power is involved. Imbalance on 3 phase can cause some severe power quality issues. After having multiple breaker trips at one of our locations (no downtime thanks to an excellent DC power plant in the data center!), the landlord discovered that 95% of the load was being carried by only 1 phase of the 3 phase feed on that breaker.


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