Category Archives: Data center

McAfee Launches New Data Center Security Suites

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McAfee today announced four new Data Center Security Suites to help secure servers and databases in the data center. The suites offer a unique combination of whitelisting, blacklisting and virtualization technologies for protecting servers and virtual desktops. These solutions provide optimal security for servers and databases in physical, virtualized and cloud-based data centers, with minimal impact on server resources which is a key demand for data centers.

“Performance and security are key concerns for servers in the physical, virtualized or cloud-based data centers,” said Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst, Information Security and Networking at Enterprise Security Group. “The new server security suites from McAfee, based on its application whitelisting, virtualization and blacklisting and AV technologies, provide an enhanced security posture while maintaining the high server performance needs of the data center.”

The suites offer customers the ability to protect their physical and virtual servers and virtual desktops with a unique combination of technologies in a single solution.

  • McAfee Data Center Security Suite for Server provides a
    complete set of blacklisting, whitelisting, and optimized
    virtualization support capabilities for basic security on servers of
    all types
  • McAfee Data Center Security Suite for Server–Hypervisor Edition
    provides a complete set of blacklisting, whitelisting, and optimized
    virtualization support capabilities for basic security on servers of
    all types and is licensed per Hypervisor
  • McAfee Data Center Security Suite for Virtual Desktop
    provides comprehensive security for virtual desktop
    deployments without compromising performance or the user experience
  • McAfee Database Server Protection provides data base activity
    monitoring and vulnerability assessment in a single suite, for all
    major database servers in the data center

“McAfee is leading the industry with these new solutions for protecting servers in the data center,” said Candace Worley, senior vice president and general manager of endpoint security at McAfee. “The combination of whitelisting, blacklisting and virtualization in a single solution, offers an optimal security posture for protecting servers in the data centers. These solutions address the need in the industry to offer solutions that provide the highest level of protection with minimal impact on the resources they are deployed on and in a wide range of customized licensing options.”


Mellanox Introduces SwitchX-2 Software Defined Networking VPI Switch

Mellanox Technologies today announced SwitchX-2, the next generation of its switch silicon optimized for Software Defined Networking (SDN). SwitchX-2 includes advanced capabilities of remote configurable routing tables, lossless and congestion free networks, efficient control planes, and SDN-optimized software interfaces. SwitchX-2 enables IT managers to program and centralize their server and storage interconnect management and dramatically reduce their operational expenses by completely virtualizing their data center network. According to IDC*, the broader SDN/OpenFlow market is expected to see rapid growth, reaching $2 billion by 2016, a significant portion of which will be network infrastructure.

SwitchX-2 is based on Mellanox’s leading Virtual Protocol Interconnect® (VPI) technology which allows for simultaneous connection to InfiniBand or Ethernet with integrated gateways to legacy data center and storage systems. Utilizing industry-first, RDMA-based 56Gb/s Ethernet and InfiniBand, SwitchX-2 is the world’s fastest, most scalable SDN switch with unmatched 4Tb/s switching capacity (50 percent higher than closest competition), the industry’s lowest power consumption, extremely low 170ns latency, hardware-based L2/L3 congestion management for highest efficiency and hardware-based data error correction for highest reliability. SwitchX-2’s advanced feature set enables the creation of larger flat SDN networks with lower cost and higher performance.

“Software Defined Networking is rapidly emerging as a key architectural element for next generation cloud, Web 2.0 and scalable data centers. As a building block for SDN-enabled network infrastructure, switches with high throughput, low latency and low power consumption are expected to be instrumental in realizing the goal of reducing operational expense while enabling data center scalability and flexibility,” said Rohit Mehra, vice president, Enterprise and Datacenter Networks, IDC. “Technologies such as Mellanox SwitchX-2, when built into next-generation data centers, will enable IT to benefit from the promise of Software Defined Networking by delivering improved throughput, latency and power, along with enhanced programmability, automation and control.”

“Mellanox’s SwitchX-2 VPI switch leads the industry with the highest throughout capacity, low latency with nearly zero jitter, as well as advanced SDN interfaces for control and management,” said David Barzilai, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “SDN technology has been a critical component of the InfiniBand scalable architecture and has been proven worldwide in data centers and clusters of tens-of-thousands of servers. Now, with SwitchX-2, Mellanox provides the most efficient SDN solution for both InfiniBand and Ethernet data centers. Mellanox’s fast, RDMA-based interconnect technology leads the competition in terms of performance, SDN technology and return-on-investment advantages it brings to IT and application managers.”

Cloud Data Centers in Rural Locations — Gobbling Electricity, Throwing Their Weight Around

Very interesting in-depth article in the New York Times today on the sprawling, electricity-hungry data centers spawned by cloud computing.

Internet-based industries have honed a reputation for sleek, clean convenience based on the magic they deliver to screens everywhere. At the heart of every Internet enterprise are data centers, which have become more sprawling and ubiquitous as the amount of stored information explodes, sprouting in community after community.

the gee-whiz factor of such a prominent high-tech neighbor wore off quickly. First, a citizens group initiated a legal challenge over pollution from some of nearly 40 giant diesel generators that Microsoft’s facility — near an elementary school — is allowed to use for backup power.

Then came a showdown late last year between the utility and Microsoft, whose hardball tactics shocked some local officials.

These data centers are apparently not always good neighbors, and of course as they are there to serve our cloud needs we’re all complicity to some degree.

Report: Green Data Center Market $45 Billion by 2016

The combination of rising energy costs, increasing demand for computing power, environmental concerns, and economic pressure has made the green data center a focal point for the transformation of the IT industry as a whole. According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the worldwide market for green data centers will grow from $17.1 billion in 2012 to $45.4 billion by 2016 – at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 28 percent.

“There is no single technology or design model that makes a data center green,” says research director Eric Woods. “In fact, the green data center is connected to the broader transformation that data centers are undergoing—a transformation that encompasses technical innovation, operational improvements, new design principles, changes to the relationship between IT and business, and changes in the data center supply chain.”

In particular, two powerful trends in IT are shaping the evolution of data centers, Woods adds: virtualization and cloud computing. Virtualization, the innovation with the greatest impact on the shape of the modern data center, is also recognized as one of the most effective steps toward improving energy efficiency in the data center. In itself, however, virtualization may not lead to reduced energy costs. To gain the maximum benefits from virtualization, other components of the data center infrastructure will need to be optimized to support more dynamic and higher-density computing environments. Cloud computing, meanwhile, has many efficiency advantages, but new metrics and new levels of transparency are required if its impact on the environment is to be adequately assessed, the report finds.

The report, “Green Data Centers”, explores global green data center trends with regional forecasts for market size and opportunities through 2016. The report examines the impacts of global economic and political factors on regional data center growth, along with newly adopted developments in power and cooling infrastructure, servers, storage, and data center infrastructure management software tools across the industry. The research study profiles key industry players and their strategies for expansion and technology adoption. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.

Cloud Isn’t Social, It’s Business

Adopting a cloud-oriented business model for IT is imperative to successfully transforming the data center to realize ITaaS.

Much like devops is more about a culture shift than the technology enabling it, cloud is as much or more about shifts in business models as it is technology. Even as service providers (that includes cloud providers) need to look toward a business model based on revenue per application (as opposed to revenue per user) enterprise organizations need to look hard at their business model as they begin to move toward a more cloud-oriented deployment model.

While many IT organizations have long since adopted a “service oriented” approach, this approach has focused on the customer, i.e. a department, a business unit, a project. This approach is not wholly compatible with a cloud-based approach, as the “tenant” of most enterprise (private) cloud implementations is an application, not a business entity. As a “provider of services”, IT should consider adopting a more service provider business model view, with subscribers mapping to applications and services mapping to infrastructure services such as rate shaping, caching, access control, and optimization.

By segmenting IT into services, IT can not only more effectively transition toward the goal of ITaaS, but realize additional benefits for both business and operations.

A service subscription business model:

  • Makes it easier to project costs across entire infrastructure
    Because functionality is provisioned as services, it can more easily be charged for on a pay-per-use model. Business stakeholders can clearly estimate the costs based on usage for not just application infrastructure, but network infrastructure, as well, providing management and executives with a clearer view of what actual operating costs are for given projects, and enabling them to essentially line item veto services based on projected value added to the business by the project.
  • Easier to justify cost of infrastructure
    Having a detailed set of usage metrics over time makes it easier to justify investment in upgrades or new infrastructure, as it clearly shows how cost is shared across operations and the business. Being able to project usage by applications means being able to tie services to projects in earlier phases and clearly show value added to management. Such metrics also make it easier to calculate the cost per transaction (the overhead, which ultimately reduces profit margins) so that business can understand what’s working and what’s not.
  • Enables business to manage costs over time 
    Instituting a “fee per hour” enables business customers greater flexibility in costing, as some applications may only use services during business hours and only require them to be active during that time. IT that adopts such a business model will not only encourage business stakeholders to take advantage of such functionality, but will offer more awareness of the costs associated with infrastructure services and enable stakeholders to be more critical of what’s really needed versus what’s not.
  • Easier to start up a project/application and ramp up over time as associated revenue increases
    Projects assigned limited budgets that project revenue gains over time can ramp up services that enhance performance or delivery options as revenue increases, more in line with how green field start-up projects manage growth. If IT operations is service-based, then projects can rely on IT for service deployment in an agile fashion, added new services rapidly to keep up with demand or, if predictions fail to come to fruition, removing services to keep the project in-line with budgets.
  • Enables consistent comparison with off-premise cloud computing
    A service-subscription model also provides a more compatible business model for migrating workloads to off-premise cloud environments – and vice-versa. By tying applications to services – not solutions – the end result is a better view of the financial costs (or savings) of migrating outward or inward, as costs can be more accurately determined based on services required.

The concept remains the same as it did in 2009: infrastructure as a service gives business and application stakeholders the ability to provision and eliminate services rapidly in response to budgetary constraints as well as demand.

That’s cloud, in a nutshell, from a technological point of view. While IT has grasped the advantages of such technology and its promised benefits in terms of efficiency it hasn’t necessarily taken the next step and realized the business model has a great deal to offer IT as well.

One of the more common complaints about IT is its inability to prove its value to the business. Taking a service-oriented approach to the business and tying those services to applications allows IT to prove its value and costs very clearly through usage metrics. Whether actual charges are incurred or not is not necessarily the point, it’s the ability to clearly associate specific costs with delivering specific applications that makes the model a boon for IT.

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Research and Markets: IBM IBM SmartCloud Workload Automation and TWS Fix Pack 1

On June 14, 2012, IBM released Fix Pack 1 (FP1) for Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TWS). On the same day, the company also launched SmartCloud Workload Automation (SCWA). SCWA combines TWS and TWS for Applications into one platform, belonging to IBM SmartCloud Foundation. At the same time, IBM announced a fundamental change of its pricing structure, away from its traditional resource-based approach and toward a per-job pricing model. This new usage-based pricing scheme was launched to make SCWA more attractive for today’s cloud-centric data center.

In this impact brief, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) will evaluate the importance of TWS FP1, SCWA, and the new pricing model for the overall workload automation marketplace, as well as for the market for cloud platforms. For more details on IBM Tivoli SmartCloud’s ability to provide the necessary management capabilities for multi-hypervisor cloud deployments, please review EMA’s whitepaper on this topic.

For more information visit

Gamma announces partnership with City Lifeline to offer London colocation services

City Lifeline, the central London colocation data centre, has announced a strategic partnership with Gamma, a network communications provider. This new partnership will provide Gamma with first rate colocation services, which will in turn boost its reliability and recommendations among potential channel partners.

Working with City Lifeline, Gamma will deliver a broad range of voice, mobile and data services designed specifically to take to market through its channel partners. Gamma is the UK’s market leader in the provision and supply of SIP Trunking services to mid-market enterprises and hosted voice and application service providers. SIP Trunking and the centralisation of telephone numbers is enabling the hosting of voice and data services previously handled by PBXs in colocation centres.

Adding Gamma SIP Trunking services to a colocation infrastructure will add cost effective, easy to deploy voice services that will enable the support of its customers that work across more than one location. Further, this will allow the company to drive more colocation space sales.

Alan Mackie, Head of SIP Services at Gamma, said: “Thanks to the help of City Lifeline, we can take our market leading services to the next level.The trend for SIP Trunking is accelerating at a rapid rate, so a service that allows us to save money and improve service really is invaluable. As a company we are dedicated to innovation and efficiency, which is why we chose to partner with a company like City Lifeline, which shares these values so openly.”

Roger Keenan, managing director at City Lifeline, explains: “We are thrilled to partner with Gamma, as we can both benefit from one another’s expertise, locations and connectivity. This new relationship enhances both our company’s portfolio of product offerings and will lead to further business opportunities for us both. Most importantly, this new relationship is helping to boost the productivity of two ambitious UK businesses – which shows our economy is really getting back on track.”

AWS Outage Postmortum: “the generators did not pick up the load”

Amazon has provided their take on how the big derecho storm that hit the Eastern US (and still leaves millions without power during a heat wave) brought down one of their data centers. Basically it was “hardware failure” — in this case a couple of emergency generators.

In the single datacenter that did not successfully transfer to the generator backup, all servers continued to operate normally on Uninterruptable Power Supply (“UPS”) power. As onsite personnel worked to stabilize the primary and backup power generators, the UPS systems were depleting and servers began losing power at 8:04pm PDT.

Read the AWS statement for more detail.

Equinix Adds Networks with ancotel Acquisition

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Equinix, Inc., a provider of global data center services, today announced it has completed its acquisition of ancotel GmbH, a  provider of carrier-neutral colocation and interconnection services in Europe.

The acquisition adds more than 400 network, cloud and content customers to Equinix. This includes 200 new networks and an additional 6,000 cross connects. In addition, Equinix adds one data center to its Frankfurt campus and now operates 21,000 square meters (223,000 square feet) of data center capacity across five data centers in the Frankfurt market. As part of the acquisition, Equinix also gains edge nodes in Hong Kong, London and Miami, providing additional points of presence in these markets. One of the world’s busiest data hubs, Equinix’s Frankfurt campus offers a broad mix of networks from Western and Eastern Europe, and significant growth opportunities for customers looking to expand their data center footprint globally.

“As a leading interconnection hub for networks throughout Europe, ancotel brings highly complementary capabilities to our European business that increases our network density in the region and offers a strong interconnection infrastructure that will provide our customers with a platform for growth in Europe and beyond,” said Eric Schwartz, president, Equinix EMEA.

Green Cloud Technologies Gets $2,750,000 for Data Center Expansion

Green Cloud Technologies, a Cloud-based technology solutions provider headquartered in Greenville, SC, has concluded a $2,750,000 round of financing that is a mix of Series B Preferred Units and three-year Convertible Notes. The bulk of the financing comes from Millry Corporation, a 70-year-old Incumbent Local Telephone Carrier serving southwestern Alabama. The additional financing will be used for market expansion and the build-out of the company’s second data center facility in Nashville, TN. Green Cloud previously secured $1,250,000 through the sale of Series A units in 2011.

“This is another vote of confidence for Green Cloud’s strategy from a very savvy and experienced investor group,” said Shaler P. Houser, CEO of Green Cloud. “This financing further enables Green Cloud to help businesses transition to our secure, reliable, and robust Cloud-based infrastructure and increase the efficiency and performance of their businesses.”

Green Cloud’s offerings include VMware-based Virtual Servers, Mirror-Imaged Disaster Recovery, and Hosted Telephone Services.

“We are excited about the opportunity to invest in this area of communications,” added Paul Brown, president of Millry Corporation. “Since 1941, we as a company and family have invested directly in local telephone service, Internet access, cellular telephone service, and wireless digital voice/data services and continue today to search for product offerings that will be required for the marketplace. The platform and services that are being offered by Green Cloud are the latest evolution in the industry and will attract business clients through cost savings and, more specifically, customer service. We look forward to the growth of Green Cloud as its CEO and employees concentrate on providing a best-in-market service offering.”

Green Cloud recently announced expansion plans into the Myrtle Beach – Charleston – Savannah corridor and the Huntsville –Nashville – Chattanooga area. The company is 100% dedicated to Authorized Partner distribution and uses no direct sales force. By partnering with local consultants, IT managed service providers, and PBX distributors, Green Cloud enables its partners to leverage the benefits of Cloud technologies without making the substantial investments necessary to deploy fully-redundant Cloud services.