I think for a lot of us the expectation that once computing got small enough and powerful enough then we’d just take our computers around in pocket sized hardware and plug them into various displays. While this may still be the case in the unforeseen future, I think we’ve gotten something better in an unexpected way.
A few companies attempted the “take your whole computer with you on your phone” thing (is that a thing?) once processing power became okay in a way that this was sort of possible. But I would assume, having never tried it and it didn’t take off, that it was a completely sub par experience in just about every way. But it seems like looking back that this would have been such a waste anyway.
It seems what we’ve ended up getting and/or developing towards is a connected world where your internet connection is the most critical part of your connection all of your information. We got a world that synced just the most important things to all of your devices. You can take your email with you on your phone and it stays in sync on your desk computer. Your contacts stay in sync. Your calendars. More recently your documents. You don’t have to overcomplicate what your phone or tablet does. You can just let it do the things it does best which for many people is short form communication.
In a metaphor that has been around for quite a while, your phone and/or tablet has become your daily driver while your desktop or notebook computer will remain more of your truck; they have more power to move heavy loads and get a lot of work done efficiently.
I think we’re still figuring out what makes sense to have on your person at all times and what makes sense to keep on your desktop. But as technology advances and devices get even smaller and more powerful, do you think we’ll see another slow shift to a different life with one sole device doing absolutely everything you need?
We’d love to hear your thoughts!
My name is Nick Peelman and I am the latest addition to the team here at Data Cave! I took up the Systems Administrator position the end of October 2015. The bulk of my focus is on keeping our infrastucture up to date, including our monitoring systems and customer network, and I look forward to sharing some of the improvements we are planning to undertake in the future. The remainder of my time will be spent assisting the rest of the team with the continuous improvement we are all dedicated to here at Data Cave. Whether it’s our network infrastucture, our security systems, or our power protection and distribution, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our ability to keep your servers and data online and secure.
Prior to joining Data Cave, I was a Linux systems administrator in Bloomington, Indiana. Before that I did stints in app development (iOS, Ruby on Rails, and Java), and Windows systems administration. I have a passion for problem solving and crafting solutions, and my experience in development has made me a much stronger sysadmin.
My wife Kelly and I live in Seymour, where she works as a veterinarian. We both graduted from Purdue, and we have a Shih-Tzu named Chase along with two cats, Kenzie and Harrison. I divide my free time between family & friends, video games, and tinkering. Much like my counterpart Patrick, I switched over to Apple’s ecosystem in 2004 and haven’t looked back.
I’m looking forward to continuing the streak of excellence set forth by the Data Cave team so far, as well as meeting and working with our customers to ensure they are happy with and impressed by what Data Cave has to offer.
Our facilities team (from left to right: Greg Grimes, Nic Kirts, and Blake Fisher)
Our facility has many different moving parts that each play their own significant role in maintaining our system uptime, and these are all monitored on a continual basis. We’ve written a lot about how we monitor much of our internal equipment, but I want to speak to the policies we have in place for the regular physical inspection and maintenance of our equipment.
We have an in-depth daily inspection procedure for all of our crucial equipment, and our facility as a whole. Every day our facility team performs a walk-through and site inspection, surveying the following key equipment and areas of the facility:
- Backup generators
- UPS flywheel units
- Suite PDU’s
- CRAC units
- Cooling towers
- Entrance gates
- Drainage areas, to ensure there are no signs of water buildup
- Exterior office AC units, to ensure there are no signs of issues
Maintenance and testing
In addition to these daily physical equipment inspections, we also employ an extensive facility maintenance schedule for proactively monitoring when maintenance or testing on our supporting equipment needs to take place. When it comes to maintenance and testing, some things must take place on a weekly, monthly, semi-annual, or annual basis, and the system we have in place allows us to be fully proactive in keeping our facility up to par.
We place a huge deal of importance on monitoring and maintaining all of the critical equipment throughout our facility, and these policies play a key role in allowing us to meet those objectives. These policies are also a key contributor to the high levels of system uptime that we are able to offer to our clients. If you would like to learn more about how we monitor and maintain other parts of our facility and infrastructure, contact us today! We’d love to hear from you.
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Our outside cooling towers allow us to chill down heated water that passes through our secondary water loop.
Winter is approaching, which for us means that we can begin to take advantage of ‘free cooling’ in our data center. Free cooling is utilized by many data centers that are located in moderate or cold climates, and it allows the data center to take advantage of the natural temperature for much of its cooling needs during the cold winter months. This can result in significant energy savings as well as lower electric bills. We’ve touched on this somewhat in the past, but I want to take a look at how we accomplish free cooling at Data Cave.
Water side economization
Data Cave uses the process of water side economization during the colder months to remove the hot exhaust air from our data suites, chill it down using a combination of our water chillers and outside cooling towers, and return it to our internal CRAC units. The overall process looks like this:
- Our CRAC units reject their heat into a chilled water loop.
- The chilled water heats up, and returns to a chiller, which uses power to chill the water again.
- As the chiller does its work, the heat is moved into a secondary water loop, which is sent outside to our cooling towers. Here, the cold outside air chills down this heated water.
Comparison to air side economization
In a past blog post we compared this process to air side economization, which is another form of free cooling that data centers can use at certain points in the year. I’d encourage you to read that post as well to learn more about the differences between these two methods: Air/Water Economizers: What’s in it for me?
This process allows us to achieve the same cooling objectives that we have every day of the year, but during these winter months we are able to let Mother Nature take care of most of the actual cooling work. The significant energy savings this results in makes the ability to take advantage of free cooling a very big deal for us as well as our customers.
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Our new demo cabinet shows off many customization options, and brightens up the room!
If you’ve been to Data Cave lately, you probably noticed our new demo cabinet up in our front lobby. In addition to displaying many of the configuration options clients can choose when they colocate their servers with us, this also shows off the new white color option that clients can choose for their cabinets. Traditional cabinets have always been black, but there have been some cited benefits of switching to lighter colored cabinets, and it has been on the rise throughout the data center industry. These are real, tangible benefits that data center managers and tenants can see, outside of just the physical appearance.
Here are what these benefits look like:
- Improved visibility: Like a snowy field in the middle of winter, a data center with light-colored cabinets provides much better visibility and lighting than a data center with all black cabinets. The more white cabinets a data center has, the lower its lighting requirements will be.
- Energy savings: Having less overall lighting in a data center also brings with it some savings on power usage. Sure, it may not be a tremendous amount when you compare it to how much power goes into data center cooling, but when your lighting can be reduced by up to 30%* as a result of using white cabinets, you’re sure to see a difference in how much power goes into lighting your data center, and for any data center, that’s a big deal.
- Better cleanliness: White cabinets also make the appearance of any dust buildup much more visible, making it considerably easier to keep the data center space clean and dust-free.
Come see it for yourself
We invite you to come and check out our new demo cabinet for yourself, and see the options that are available to both new and existing colocation clients. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of white cabinets, we’d love to have a chat about that as well. Contact us today!
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