May 20, 2014

eBay Shifts to Water-Cooled Doors to Tame High-Density Loads
The Motivair doors use high-efficiency EC (electronically commutated) fans, which mean the overall power usage (12.8kW vs 11kW for the in-row units) was minimal. The system also uses less energy because it can use warm water, working at a water temperature of at 60 degrees rather than the 45 degrees seen in many chiller systems. “We thought the rear doors were expensive, but when you added the six racks back into the row, it paid for itself,” said Nelson. The cost scenario also worked because eBay had pre-engineered the space to support water cooling. Nelson believes that major data centers are approaching the limits of conventional air cooling, and sees water cooling as critical to future advances in high-density equipment.

The “rush syndrome”: How it affects your health and your job
Technology feeds the illusion that multitasking is a skill we should learn and use consistently. But a notable research study, conducted by Clifford Nass of Stanford University, shows just the opposite. People who try to do several things at once do all of them less well than those who focus on one task at a time. Jumping from one thing to another doesn’t save time — it costs time. Every time you switch tasks, you have to readjust your brain and refocus your attention. For example, you’re writing an important presentation when that ever-present “ping” signals an incoming e-mail. You switch into email mode, maybe even take time to answer, and when you switch back to the presentation, you can’t remember your last important thought.

Finland's 'safe harbour for data' becomes reality with funding for Sweden-free cable
Announcing the grant approval today, Finland's communications minister and "midwife" of the cable, Krista Kiuru, stressed Finland's independence. "Our geopolitical location is based both on geography and on decisions that we make ourselves. We ourselves must first have the courage to develop Finland into a significant safe harbour of information, where companies and countries can safely place their critical data," Kiuru said. "For this reason I proposed the inclusion of a definition of policy on the cable already in last year's framework agreement, on whose basis the preparations have now been brought to a conclusion. With these kinds of actions we significantly strengthen the image of our country as a concentration of data traffic."

What is DevOps really?
Although the term is now being treated as if it were a marketing buzzword like “cloud” and “big data”, there is a real grassroots initiative behind the hype that grew out of some good ideas generated by a few smart people working on application delivery. They went on to develop these ideas until they did real, concrete, awesome things. Others saw how successful these new teamwork methods were, and tried to figure out shortcut formulas to get there, without fully understanding the original ideas. This has caused problems and confusion because it is impossible to implement DevOps practices without understanding and putting in practice the underlying ideas.

US charges Chinese military officers with cyber espionage
The targets of the alleged cyber espionage have been identified as Westinghouse Electric, US Steel, Alcoa Inc, Allegheny Technologies, SolarWorld and the US Steelworkers Union. The FBI said the hacking activities of the accused from 2006 to 2014 had caused "significant losses" at the five companies and probably many more besides. The stolen documents allegedly include solar panel pricing strategies and designs for components of a nuclear plant. The indictment alleges that one Chinese state-owned enterprise involved in trade litigation against some of the US target companies hired the unit to build a secret database to hold corporate intelligence, according to IDG News.

PSUs are Open to Cloud Beyond IaaS, PaaS and SaaS
The Public Sector has increasingly started adopting cloud computing for its benefits such as efficient and effective management and delivery of net centric services. Additionally, by migrating to the cloud, public-sector organizations will be able to free up IT expenditure for re-investment in mission-enabling activities or national objectives such as deficit reduction. The Cloud G initiative which went live recently is an important step in this direction. This will now offer infrastructure, platform, storage, and software-as-a-service for the Indian public sector. Also to note, adopting cloud infrastructure is important but instant availability of the information through cloud infrastructure is another important piece that cannot be ignored.

The Value of Chief Strategy Officers
The CSO, ideally, has deep knowledge of internal operations (usually an insider, but an outsider can succeed also) and shouldn’t be isolated from that after taking the job. “I’d say the CSO is more external-facing but with deep knowledge of internal operations. And so this goes back to what makes a successful CSO — I think the bad ones are the ones who sit in the ivory towers and pontificate … the really good ones have probably come from inside the company,” Stroh said. “They’re operational- or functionally focused, and what I mean by that is that they’ve run something. They’ve run operations, they’ve run the call center, they’ve run product development, they’ve run marketing.... So they’re eating their own dog food when developing strategy because they have to live with it.”

Cue the Data Storytellers: The Data Industry’s Next Big Stars
Good stories connect with emotion, surprise, concrete imagery, and narrative. Many books have gone into this, such as “Writing for Story” by Jon Franklin, “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud, and the relatively recent “Made to Stick” by the Heath brothers. The best of the data storytellers will add to what they already know by looking into storytelling’s rich legacy for inspiration and technique — including genres that have never been mentioned with data in the same breath. Folk songs, for one. Ramblin’ Jack Elliot’s “912 Greens” starts out with adventure and ends in the comfort of community.

Why IT needs to drive the risk conversation
The problem might not lie in some stubborn dislike by technology professionals for innovative new products. The problem, CIOs and other experts agree, is that most organizations don't have a realistic, balanced or mature system for evaluating and making decisions about technology risk. Especially the risk that always comes with implementing something new. "Somebody, typically in a line of business, has some SaaS product they want to use, and they provide a business case for it: 'Here's all the good stuff that can result from the use of this. It'll make my numbers. I can access it from anywhere,'" says Jay Heiser, an analyst at Gartner.

Cisco will lead SDN and win IT, Chambers says
"You're going to see a brutal, brutal consolidation of the IT industry," he said. Many other industries will also consolidate, and enterprises will have to transform themselves and adopt end-to-end architectures like Cisco's to stay competitive, he said. The company is directly taking on SDN (software-defined networking) in the form of so-called "white box" networking hardware with an overlay of software such as the OpenFlow open-source protocol or VMware's NSX. Cisco will win with a combination of its ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) platform with hardware built from a combination of third-party and Cisco-developed silicon, he said. Traditional, standalone networking equipment will be sidelined, he said.

Quote for the day:

"Nobody raises his own reputation by lowering others" -- Anonymous

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