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Best of the Data Center Blogs for July 18

This week, notable posts from an all-star lineup of data center veterans, including KC Mares of Megawatt Consulting, James Hamilton of Amazon, Mark Thiele from Switch and Compass Datacenters' Chris Crosby.

Here’s a roundup of some interesting items we came across this week in our reading of data center industry blogs for July 18th:

Apple+Reno+Solar  = "Controllable Power" - KC Mares of Megawatt Consulting, who helped develop the site in Reno where Apple is building a new data center, discusses the unique approach to energy his team pursued. "We created some unique tax incentives, but as a data center power guy for nearly two decades negotiating power deals and developing power plants, I saw the real potential was for clean, 'controllable' power. I brought Apple to the site last spring and they too saw the same potential."

Counting Servers is Hard - Data center guru James Hamilton looks at Steve Ballmer's recent statement that Microsoft has more than 1 million servers, and what kind of infrastructure and power use that implies. "The Microsoft number is surprising when compared against past external estimates, data center build rates, or ramp rates from previous hints and estimates. Little data has been released by any of the large players and what’s out there is typically nothing more than speculation. Counting servers is hard and credibly comparing server counts is close to impossible."

A CPU, a GPU, and a Data Center walk into a Bar - At SwitchScribe, Mark Thiele looks at innovation and performance: "There’s been considerable uproar in the infrastructure and analyst community of late as we all gnash our teeth and wring our hands while considering the potential impacts of multiple new CPU types in our mix."

Define Efficiency - At Compass Points, Chris Crosby offers observations on how the industry talks about efficiency. "If you’re like me, you’ve probably lost count of the articles that you’ve read, or conferences you’ve attended, where the big climatic summary has been that data centers must become more efficient—a comment greeted with a nodding of heads that makes the room look like it’s filled with bobble head dolls. Despite our universal agreement that we all think efficiency is good, does this mean that we are all talking about the same thing?"

How our Customers Built the New Equinix Customer Portal - The Interconnections blog has an interview with Equinix Customer Portal guru Robert Noakes to discuss how the development of the company's new portal was shaped by customer feedback.