Tag Archives: Vivek Kundra

Cloud computing and data centers, the numbers add up just fine.

I was just reading an article about the government’s 1200 data centers with only 7% server utilization and one claiming the government’s cloud computing numbers don’t add up. For probably the first time ever, it’s not the government that’s slinging the fuzzy math.

First, Vivek Kundra revealed the state of the government’s data centers. How in the HECK do you get that far off track? Is someone really setting the “build new data center” trigger at 7% utilization? I’m assuming that since this is the case, little or no other efficiency measures are in place in these data centers either. What an absolutely phenomenal waste of money and energy, even by that icon of inefficiency the federal government’s usual standards.

On top of this, we find that the TSA was planning to spend $600,000 to launch a blog. To launch a blog. To launch ONE blog. I’ll give you a moment to absorb that. It’s difficult for me to fathom the idea of spending $600.000 for ONE blog when you can grab a free copy of WordPress, slap it on a less than $1000 server, and, in an afternoon, have a perfectly top notch blog up and cooking. What is wrong with these people’s thought processes?

On the other side of the coin, we find an argument against the government’s cost saving numbers from dumping much of this horde of horrendously under utilized data centers in favor of cloud computing. The argument is that nobody is providing “detailed numbers” on precisely where the cost savings are.

The economics of cloud computing and virtualization are well established. Put the workload of 10 physical servers (a fairly conservative ratio) on one physical server, reduce your capital expenditure 90%, reduce your data center requirements 90%, reduce your power consumption and expense, and reduce your manpower requirement. These benefits of cloud computing are not vague or reasonably refutable.

So, is it a good reason to claim “the numbers don’t add up” unless you know down to the penny how much of the saving comes from power usage reduction versus manpower reduction? Should we poo poo this because we don’t know the precise percentage of saving between less IT equipment and less data center space?

Bean counting didn’t save us from getting into this mess and it’s grown to drastic proportions when you talk about a $600,000 blog. I see a lot of this going on in business adoption of cloud computing and virtualization also, pick nits over pennies when you’re bleeding $100 bills.

It’s time to embrace the savings of cloud computing, even if you can’t tuck all the pennies neatly in pigeon holes. Savings are savings and that’s the bottom line.

Let us show you the REAL savings, email or call me or visit the SwiftWater Telecom web site for cloud computing services!


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FedCloud and the “evil data centers”

Today, I’ve been reading and considering FedCloud Targets $20B in Evil Data Centers. US CIO Vivek Kundra says “We’re building data centers the size of city blocks and spending hundreds of millions of dollars … We cannot continue on this trajectory.” So, just how big is too big for a data center?

It seems like everywhere in the news lately we read about the latest mega data centers, some as big as 800,000 square feet. So just what are the ups and downs to these enormous facilities?

Obviously, economies of scale and consistency apply to these mega facilities. Uniform systems reduce the cost of operation and maintenance, as well as making excellent monitoring and management possible. There’s also a reduction in cost from not having to duplicate job functions that would be required for multiple facilities.

On the down side, first, there is putting all the eggs in one basket. Mega data centers are not immune to catastrophic failures from either internal or external events (for example, the electrical explosion at one of The Planet’s data centers some time back). One catastrophic problem can take down an awful lot of service in one shot.

Second, mega facilities don’t lend themselves to many green techniques. In a vast open space, attempting enough fine air flow control to implement free air cooling is problematic. Also, the long distances between power and loads increases electrical loses, especially in DC power systems.

The final issues is political. What happens with a mega facility when the local political environment becomes unfriendly to the services being run from it? Reference the recent move of Microsoft’s Azure from Washington state due to unfavorable tax changes.

So what is the answer? For me, it’s a balance between economies of scale, flexibility to adapt, ability to implement green data center techniques, and redundancy for disaster insurance.

Vern, SwiftWater Telecom
Data center, web hosting, Internet engineering”