Facebook Windmill Server

Top 5 Data Center Stories, Week of June 30th

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A close up of Facebook’s new server design, known as Windmill, which is part of Facebook’s effort to update its custom hardware designs for its new Open Rack enclosure standard. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

For your weekend reading, here’s a recap of five noteworthy stories that appeared on Data Center Knowledge this past week. Enjoy!

Amazon Data Center Loses Power During Storm – An Amazon Web Services data center in northern Virginia lost power Friday night, causing extended downtime for services includng Netflix, Heroku, Pinterest , Instagram and many others. The incident occurred as a powerful electrical storm struck the Washington, D.C. area, leaving as many as 1.5 million residents without power. The data center in Ashburn, Virginia that hosts the US-East-1 region lost power for about 30 minutes, but customers were affected for a longer period as Amazon worked to recover virtual machine instances.

Apple Plans Huge New Data Center near Reno – Apple is continuing to expand its data center infrastructure to support its growing cloud operations. The company will invest $1 billion over 10 years to build a center at a new technology park near Reno, Nevada. The data center project is part of a development plan in which the company will also build a purchasing center in downtown Reno. An Apple spokesman told local officials that the company expected the new facility at the Reno Technology Park to come online later this year.

Closer Look: Facebook’s New Server, Storage Designs - Facebook is ready for Act Two of its mission to disrupt the data center. Barely a year after unveiling its custom hardware, the social network has retooled its server and storage designs. Facebook’s next-generation custom hardware designs are driven by its overhaul of the data center rack, which widens the equipment trays to make servers easier to cool and maintain. Data Center Knowledge recently got a detailed look at the new designs.

Google Challenges Amazon With Compute Engine – Google today announced the long-awaited expansion of its cloud computing services to compete directly with Amazon Web Services and its industry-leading suite of cloud services. At its Google I/O conference, the company rolled out Google Compute Engine, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering that allows users to run applications in virtual machines hosted in Google’s data centers.

Hot Water Cooling? Three Projects Making it Work – The phrase “hot water cooling” seems like an oxymoron. How can hot water possibly help cool servers in high-density data centers? Although the data center community has become conditioned to think of temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees as the proper climate for a server room, there are many ways to keep equipment running smoothly with cooling technologies featuring significantly higher temperatures. Here are three recent examples of this trend.>

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.