Roundup: Michigan Cloud, IBM's Green Degree update from September 2009

A roundup of data center industry news, including Michigan's cloud data center, QualComm buys Verari containers, Emerson rolls out new PDUs, and IBM backs a college degree in green data center expertise.

John Rath

September 3, 2009

3 Min Read
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Here’s a roundup of some of some of this week’s headlines from the data center and hosting industry:

  • Michigan plans Government cloud. Michigan CIO Ken Theis details the plans that the state has toward building a massive data center designed to provide cloud computing services to state agencies, cities, counties and schools across the state.  Government Technology magazine interviews Theis, who left General Motors 11 years ago to join state government. Theis states that it could potentially be a 80,000 to 100,000 square foot facility and break ground in October 2010.  The goal is to build a cloud to provide application hosting and managed services not only for the state government, but for the public-sector as well.  Data center consolidation efforts to date by Michigan have closed 35 of 38 facilities and repurposed nearly half of its existing IT equipment.  These efforts have saved more than $19 million and reclaimed 30,000 square feet of office space, according to the state.  Michigan will use American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds and other sources in an effort to make the new data center as green as possible.  Theis said "No private-sector CIO wants to offshore, but right now there's not really a good alternative. And they have the same problem now as government does: They don't have any money."

  • Verari FOREST container selected by Qualcomm. Verari Systems announced Tuesday that Qualcomm has selected their second-generation FOREST container solution for their most recent data center expansion.  Qualcomm vice president of Information Technology Brian Baker said "When we evaluated the cost efficiencies of operating a container versus a traditional data center, it became a natural step for us to deploy one."  Verari's second-generation container recently won the Uptime Institute's 2009 Green Enterprise IT award for Energy Efficient Products: Facilities.  The Verari FOREST container houses up to 2,880 servers or 26 Petabytes of storage and the company says it can be deployed at about 50% of the capital and operating expense of traditional brick-and-mortar data centers.

  • Emerson Network Power unveils new rack power distribution units. Emerson Network power released three new rack power distribution (PDU) solutions Wednesday. The Liebert MPX adaptive rack PDU is scalable, modular and offers comprehensive remote management capabilities.  The hot-swappable power modules let IT staff make onsite configuration of rack power to suit equipment needs.  The MPX model was displayed (and in use) in the July open house for Emerson's new St. Louis data center.  The MPX model also provides remote monitoring at the receptacle level as well as environmental monitoring. The second model, the Liebert MPH operates with the same network interface platform as the MPX and delivers real-time monitoring and control of connected loads.  The third new product is the Knurr DI-STRIP Rack PDU, and is available in both standard and HighPower models.  All three PDU products operate with the industry's leading standard operating temperature; up to 131 degrees Fahrenheit.  Director of solutions marketing Matt Kightlinger said "The Liebert MPX allows users to reconfigure rack PDU input power, from 20 to 60 amps, and swap out, on the fly, receptacle modules as their IT equipment power requirements and plug types change over time."  The products are available globally for order now and shipping will start in mid-September.

  • IBM's Green data center degree. IBM has collaborated with Metropolitan Community College (MCC) in Omaha, Nebraska to develop an Associate's degree program focused on green data centers. IBM will provide hardware, software and online course materials to assist MCC in offering this program.  Mark Hanny, vice president of channels and alliances at IBM said "Green has become essential to all IT organizations and this degree is designed to give students the skills they need to build more efficient data centers worldwide."  MCC has ranked among the top 10 community colleges nationwide for 12 years in the number of IT graduates.  Courses offered in the program include networking security, applied data center management, building a secure environment, virtualization, remote access and monitoring, and 16 pieces of courseware around green technology.

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