All about Data Center Energy Analysis

Data centers have a very important part to play when it comes to building a successful, reputable company. In this day and age, it has become very important for companies to avoid long down times  or anything else that might cause them to stop working for a lengthy period. Owing to the fact that a great number of companies run their businesses over the Internet, or at least that they store their valuable data on computers, it is very important that the computers they use are kept safe and functioning properly at all times.

Data Center, You Power Hungry Monster!

It has become almost impossible to imagine a big company without a data center, and this is why these computer rooms are a part of many companies. While these data centers are an amazing solution when it comes to keeping all of a company’s files safe and easy to use whenever they are needed, data centers are also known for high energy consumption. The data center power a company needs can be really high, and high consumption of data center power can affect a company financially.

Data centers need energy to operate, but the cost of the energy used can vary depending on whether a company is large or small. Accordingly, small companies use significantly smaller amounts of energy on a monthly basis, thus having lower electricity bills. On the other hand, the data center power a big company needs can be a huge expense to big businesses. This is the main reason why there is a lot of information on the different methods on how a big company can cut down on their electricity bills. Finding a good energy efficient solution can help a company save a lot of money. For instance, you can look into going green by using renewable energy sources. By turning to renewable energy, you can reduce your expenditure on data center energy consumption.


You can also keep up to date with current trends and technology by visiting Data Centers Talk where we keep you informed on important changes as they occur.

Cloud Computing Simplified – Picking the Right Plan for Your Needs

Over the past couple of years many web hosts and server professionals have been toting “The Cloud” as a cure all for majority of the IT problems, but for the end user is this all hype or is it real?

How old is “The Cloud”?

Contrary to popular belief, cloud computing has been around since the 1970’s via mainframes which had the ability to scale resources as needed by pooling the resources of multiple systems. Virtual Private Servers which have been offered by webhosts for years are another example of “cloud technology” as they allow customers to scale storage and RAM as needed.

Despite” cloud” being a marketing term without any concrete definition, the technologies has become vital for virtually every IT professional to understand. In particular the two tiers of cloud computing are public and private clouds. At its foundation, the comparison between public and Cloud Computing Simplified, Picking the Right Plan, Data Center, power calculation, cooling system, fewer generator, Green Data Center, datacenter, data center services, data center management, about data centers, internet data centers, datacenter services, datacenter solutions Business continuityprivate clouds is analogous to shared/virtual hosting and plans on dedicated servers. With a public cloud, you are given a segment of resources on hardware which is shared with other clients. In a private cloud, just like a traditional dedicated hosting plan, the service gives the client full access to their own sets of hardware.

Although traditional dedicated plans provide superior levels of security and control when compared to shared hosting, when it comes to cloud plans, public clouds are typically sufficient for majority of the routine hosting needs. The reason for this is because in a public cloud the use of “virtualization” sandboxes each customer from the other users providing them with a much higher level of security compared to traditional shared hosting which is simply a server allowing hundreds (if not thousands) of websites to access the same set of resources.

Cloud Plans

Pricing for cloud services depends heavily on the provider you choose. However, to provide an idea of the pricing gap between public and private clouds,given below is a small pricing sample pulled from Softlayer, which is one of the leading web hosts in the industry.

Base public cloud package:

1 core, 1GB of RAM, and 25GB of local storage – $50/month or $0.10/hour

Base private cloud package:

1 core,  1 GB of RAM, and 100 GB of local storage – $159/month or $0.30/hour

In addition to Soft layer, industry leader Rackspace, has recently released Open Stack which is an open sourced stack for businesses to create their own private clouds using their own hardware. Open Stack has been receiving praise for the fact it does not lock clients into a single vendor, however as the code has not yet been proven for long term use, the decision to adopt the platform has been debatable by many Information Technology professionals primarily in enterprise environments.

Regardless, as Open Stack is free software and since the ecosystem for the platform is very active, the platform will likely be one of the top emerging technologies of 2012 and is therefore a must for any IT pro’s watch list.

Hosting needs handling with Traditional and Cloud Hosting

Going back to the types of hosting plans available to businesses, although cloud plans are newer, many companies utilize both traditional and cloud servers to handle their hosting needs. For example, cloud servers can be used for load balancing, code testing, and usability testing, and so on. By using VPS or Dedicated servers to handle the routine loads and cloud servers to handle specialty and as needed tasks, companies are able to create a better server package specifically geared towards their needs.

Public or Private Cloud

As far as using a public or private cloud, the answer to that depends heavily on your needs. Do you need full control of the hardware? If so, then a private cloud is a must. Regarding security, through virtualization, public clouds are typically much more secure than a traditional shared plan, but a private cloud provides a complete barrier from other clients should something go wrong. In most cases a simple call to your web host will provide you with access to staff devoted to the hosting products, which can therefore provide guidance based on your needs.


Our writers strive to keep you informed about the latest trends in the Data Center Industry. Browse through other reviews and articles at Data Center Talk.

Virsto CEO Makes 5 Data Center Predictions for 2012

Virsto CEO Makes 5, Data Center Predictions for 2012, Data Center, power calculation, cooling system, fewer generator, Green Data Center, datacenter, data center services, data center management, about data centers, internet data centers, datacenter services, datacenter solutions Business continuity

The head of storage virtualization software developer has made five data center predictions for 2012 based on input from customers, partners, analysts and industry thought-leaders.

“2012 will be the year of widespread heterogeneous hypervisor adoption in the datacenter, with all the incumbent training, process and technological implications that this shift represents,” says Virsto CEO Mark Davis. “Non-disruptive, game changing technology that facilitates this transition, like Virsto’s storage hypervisor, will continue to experience high demand as a result.”

This article provides a look into Davis’ crystal ball.Continue Reading …

Top ten data centers for colocation and dedicated hosting

It is impossible to declare a list of “top” data centers that will satisfy everyone’s criteria. In terms of sq

uare footage or availability of computing resources, most of the “top” data centers in the world today are dedicated to the internal operations of major corporations and government entities; they are not available to the public for colocation. The ideal data center selection will vary considerably, depending upon the unique requirements of different customers at different stages of growth.

Very small organizations are best suited to hosted cloud infrastructures with no physical hardware owned by the customer; very large organizations may need dedicated data centers that are entirely owned and operated by the company. Some data centers claim to be a “top” choice because they offer the latest technologies such as hydrogen backup power or greener thermal management systems, but what really matters is that your servers stay online.

For this list, we deem a data center worthy of our “top” rating when it is a recommended choice for an “average” customer, seeking between 1 and 42 units of rack space and 1 to 10 megabits of available bandwidth. The data center must offer unescorted 24/7 access, network latency of less than 30ms, on-site support staff and a reliability rating of at least TIA-942 tier 3 (meaning the customer can tolerate up to 1.6 hours of downtime annually). This suits an internet-driven company who needs a secure, reliable, high-bandwidth home for their most critical servers. These are data centers with a proven track record of delivering quality services at acceptable price points.

The main factors a company should consider when sourcing a data center are :

• cost / value
• location
network reliability and performance
• scalability
• security, including disaster recovery solutions
• environment conditioning (thermal control, air contamination, power quality)
• availability of special services such as monitoring, network engineering, support etc.

Cost is of course the single most important factor; a company must select a solution that makes budgetary sense. As we are looking at colocation service, the location must be accessible to technical staff while being close to major internet peering points; in Canada, the primary locations are Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver (in the USA, network fabric and data center locations are much more widely distributed). Network performance must be on par with other major data centers, with a good record of reliability. Scalability ensures the customer can grow (or shrink) according to it’s realworld needs over time. Effective security is vital to prevent unauthorized access to company resources, and environmental conditioning ensures colocated equipment operates normally.

#1 : Peer 1 –

Peer1 is our favorite data center overall. They have facilities in Toronto, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Jose and Seattle. The technical and support staff are generally excellent, and the pipe is fast and reliable. Peer1 offers an almost unheard-of zero-downtime Service Level Agreement (SLA). Peer1 is a great vendor for quality bandwidth at low cost for organizations requiring 1-100 megabits of unmetered internet access. They have recently been concentrating on managed hosting and cloud services, but we think their best offering is “plain old” colocation. Some Peer1 data centers can be a little messy, with occasional environmental issues and often no 24/7 on-site support staff — but overall Peer1 offers excellent value.

#2 : InterLink –

This small data center is located at 44 Victoria in Toronto. If you’re in Toronto and you don’t need to be at 151 Front Street, InterLink might be a cost-effective alternative. The data center is by no means state-of-the-art, and you’ll be 1-2 hops away from most of the major peers — but the cost savings might make this alternative worthwhile for you, especially if your technical staff are located in the downtown core.

#3 : Equinix (Switch & Data) –

Equinix offers a huge choice of peering providers, for those customers who consume a lot of bandwidth or seek the multi-homed connectivity options provided by being located in a major peering data center. Data centers are located in Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Seattle and Toronto. For smaller organizations, it’s generally best to find a reseller located in your facility of choice.

#4 : YesUp –

YesUp can offer some good colocation deals for a mid-sized internet-driven business in Toronto. Facilities are nothing special, but the pricing is very attractive.

#5 : iWeb –

iWeb offers some budget-friendly deals on colocation and dedicated servers; they are quite popular for low-end colocation needs, starting from a single unit of rack space – however their four data center locations are in Montreal.

#6 : Verizon (formerly MCI) –

MCI historically has had some of the best pipe, and their SAS-70 compliant data centers are robust and well-managed. The network has an excellent uptime record with some of the best latencies around. However, their burstable plans are on the expensive side; contracts generally “lock in” the customer at a commited bandwidth rate plus an additional rate for bursting. With MCI, this rate generally increases with the amount of bandwidth used, which means a growing company (or an unplanned anomaly on the network) can result in a huge bandwidth overage bill. Make sure your network is restricted (by contract and/or hardware/software bandwidth rate limiting solutions) from consuming excessive bandwidth.

#7 : Softlayer –

SoftLayer focuses on commodity dedicated servers. Initial pricing is attractive, but extras such as bandwidth and high-end storage/processor components can quickly inflate the monthly bill. Data centers are located in several US states; they now provide offshore locations as well.

# 8 : capPOP –

CalPOP has good pricing on basic dedicated servers and location in it’s Los Angeles data center. Watch out for expensive additional fees. If you use their hardware, be sure to run consistency checks on the memory and hard discs.

#9 : RackSpace –

RackSpace offers managed servers only, and has rather absurd pricing — buttheir support is somewhat above-average. Perhaps a choice for those who aren’t comfortable maintaining their own server infrastructure. You’ll pay a premium for hosting here, but you’ll get an answer to your technical support in under 15 minutes by someone who understands English.

#10 : Layered Tech –

Layered Tech is an option for customers who need assistance with compliance management, such as PCI and HIPAA. Of course, you’ll pay a premium for this service.

To read more on data centers and their effective management, visit now Data Center Talk.

Softlayer Data Center Review

SoftLayer is the innovation leader in Cloud, Dedicated, and Managed Hosting, and the largest privately owned hosting company in the world. We provide global, on-demand data center and hosting services from world-class data centers in Amsterdam, Dallas, Houston, San Jose, Seattle, Singapore, and Washington D.C., with network Points of Presence nationwide.



Since 1999, we’ve grown into one of the world’s top 5 hosting providers. We got here by delivering the kind of exceptional service that gets noticed, and a Fast Fiber Network™ that always delivers on our up time promise.

For over a decade we’ve been cutting through the frustration of under performing technology and poor service, delivering the power of the internet to any organization that needs it. We do this through award-winning:


Everything we do is backed by our First call Support™. It means you only need to ask once, and our outstanding people won’t rest until your issue is resolved. Our service excellence is then underpinned by iron clad SLAs and further reinforced by a 30 days money back guarantee. We’re so motivated by your happiness we even measure it using Net Promoter®. It’s the standard global metric for gauging success, and we’re constantly improving

List of Cloud Computing Backup Services for Successful Business

Cloud computing backup or cloud online storage comes with different services provider to suit various group of users with their different needs and requirements. Users select online backup services based on different options such as transfer speeds, pricing, size of storage provided, size of Megabytes or Gigabytes for number of files storing.

Business users would select based on data security and compliance, data resiliency (ability to come to original state after being bent, configured or other) and availability of remote located data.

A large corporation would select a backup service based on server performance and effective transfer of entire server and data protection with controls and lock-on to online spaces.

  • Group of businesses and large corporations would want entire server of hundreds of computers to be backed up.
  • Individual user would want to store and save their irreplaceable photographs, videos; years of working documents, projects; and download applications like blogs, chat and emails.
  • Mobile users would to keep online storage of musics, albums, videos; use gaming, eBooks application online within mobile computing.

List of Cloud Computing Backup Product with Different Plans:

  1. BackupMyInfo

    ( – their primary concern is protecting the business and client’s important corporate data. A premium managed service provider that focuses on online data backup, recovery and nightly backup too. It has features to backup various databases, several servers and email message backup. Offers free trial at this moment without any obligations.

  2. Carbonite 4.0

    ( – is a mature online backup service. Though it seems to lack some desirable features for requirement such as not backing up external or network drives, it still offers unlimited backup storage. Back up open files and IPhone applications. Pricing per pc: $59/year.

  3. CrashPlan 3.0

    ( – This version offers multiple backup sets such as yours and friends’ computers backup; unlimited storage; ability to backup attached devices and compatible with multiple platforms of Macs, Linux and Windows. It seems to lack features for file sharing and mobile users. Pricing per PC: $50/year/unlimited GB.

  4. DataBarracks

    ( – business backup services with support for different operating systems. Backup from single application to full infrastructure from public or private clouds. It has features such as data encryption, resilient storage systems and secure UK-based data centers. Clients include defence sector, government agencies and financial institutions. Approximately pricing per PC: £3.95/2 month free.


    ( – offsite data is completely protected. Features include high availability replication services, email compliance, data de-duplication and telecom recovery services. Offers solutions and services to government, financial institution, education and healthcare industries by leveraging virtualization, cloud computing and cloud storage.

  6. GlobalDataVault

    ( – has advanced full featured backup service provider. Offers free 30 day trial. It seems to protect business by eliminating risk with redundant systems and data replication to secure data center. Pricing per PC: $125/month/50 GB.

  7. IDrive

    ( – gives unlimited storage and at affordable price. Basic plan is free with 5GB free. Suitable for online backup for PCs, Macs, Smart Phones such as iPhones, Blackberries, Android based mobiles. It seems to lack features such as you can not mix Macs and PCs in one account alone. Pricing per PC: $59.40/year/150GB.

  8. KineticD

    ( – has a remote control capability to IPhones and PCs so users can keep applications backup running on their device. Mainly online backup storage for business probably due to constant monitoring of updated files and multiple PCs support. Users can only pay for their space they use. Approximately pricing per PC: $20/month/10GB.

  9. MiMedia

    ( – offers folders syncing that designate folders to pair with online storage. Its beta service offers hands-off, automated backup and the ability to play media files online and cloud-based disk drives. Pricing per PC: $100/year/100GB.

  10. MozyHome 2.0

    ( – no unlimited storage plans; backup only one computer per account. It is probably easily to use and setup but does not seem to backup removable drives and network. Pricings per PC: $5.99/month/PC.

  11. Nomadesk 4.0

    ( – seems compatible for servers of Windows, Mac, Internet browser, mobile web; for application of mobiles and PCs. Secure, sync file transfer and allow file sharing with no limits, whether you are online or offline. Offers secure backup without limits for 30 days free trial.

  12. Storagepipe

    ( –Canada online cloud backup services of industry’s data protection and archiving. Backup server, software and email archiving; provide solutions for disaster recovery, regulatory compliance and business continuity.

  13. SOS Online Backup

    ( – Backup PC, Mac, iPhone / iPad contacts, videos and photos including Facebook and Android backups. Sharing of data with your friends from any place. Offers some free storage account. Pricing per PC: $63.96/year/50GB (upto 5 PCs).

Source to date: November 2011

These are few of the products reviewed out of hundreds available online.

The preferred option would be to choose the plan that comes with free trial to use their online storage services for limited time. This is one way of testing their good functionality, server performance and whether it suits personal needs and requirements.

Our writers strive to keep you informed about the latest software and products. Browse through other reviews and articles at Data Center Talk.

AToM – Any Transport Over MPLS

AToM is something, if you know what it can do , you can create solutions that can save thousand of dollars that you might invest in additional links and network infrastructure.  From a engineer perspective , it is something you will love to know and admire . Its an application on MPLS and provides and evidence how MPLS has revolutionize the network world and provides solutions which will be used more and more in coming years . Time has gone when Service Provider/Telecoms provides pure layer 2 dedicated LL and customer has to pay a lots for a international Leased Circuit and he never uses it up to its full capacity . So its time to save your precious dollars by sharing a common infrastructure and enjoy same service Level Agreement.

What is it ?

-  Any Transport over MPLS (AToM) is a solution for transporting Layer 2 packets/frames over an Layer 3 MPLS backbone.

–  Think of it as a method of emulating a layer 2 circuit over an MPLS backbone similar to AAL1 on an ATM Backbone.

–  AToM Supports the following Services

  • Frame Relay
  • ATM AAL5
  • ATM Port Mode
  • Ethernet VLAN
  • PPP
  • HDLC
  • Sonet/SDH

You can imagine a scenario when you have a Layer 3 backbone and you need to provide L2 circuit to your client using that L3 infrastructure . The challenge is how you will transport Ethernet frames received on one leg of an router to another router leg on another side and you have multiple routers in between as well .  Sounds interesting ?

Why Use It ?


–          Savings in transmission costs by consolidating multiple lower speed circuits into a few high speed circuits.

–          Flexibility with available capacity, by having all physical capacity on a single IP/MPLS backbone we can utilize available capacity for the services that require it.


–          SPOF

–          More Overhead

–          Synchronization could be an issue.

How does it work ?

–      AToM uses a two-level (Inner for Service and outer for Transport) label stack similar to a L3VPN.

–      PE’s use targeted LDP sessions to exchange label information.

–      Traffic is received at the ingress PE (AToM start point) and the layer 2 headers are removed.

–      An MPLS label is added suggesting the remote end of the pseudo wire.

–      A second label may be added for the outbound interface.

–      For port mode ATM Without cell packing, the 53 bytes ATM Cell (minus the HEC) is encapsulated in a 64 bytes AToM MPLS Packet.

–      Cell packing is the feature used to conserve bandwidth on the backbone by sending multiple ATM cells in a single IP packet.

One of challenges that arises and  here is added overheads due to this encapsulation . All service providers who have implemented  have faced this challenge to make sure that their core backbone is supporting the MPLS packets with increased MTU .

Let see how much over head is added

Pitfall : Avoid exceeding the Core MTU

Transport Type Header Size
ATM ALL5 0-32 bytes
Ethernet VLAN 18 bytes
Ethernet Port 14 bytes
Frame Relay Dlci (Cisco Encapsulation) 2 bytes
Frame Relay Dlci (IETF Encapsulation) 8 bytes
HDLC 4 bytes
PPP 4 bytes
  • The AToM Header is 4 bytes but it’s required for ATM AAL5 and Frame-Relay. (optional for Ethernet, PPP and HDLC)
  • Label number is 2 if P routers are directly connected. 3 if not.
  • If FRR is requested, it will add another level of tag.
  • Rule: Always assume we need 4 labels.
  • The Label size if 4 bytes

ie. For FR IETF  MTU = 4470 – 8 – 4 – (4 x 4) = 4442 bytes

What is needed ?

–          An Operational MPLS network

–          Targeted LDP session between PE end point routers. (used for advertising Vc labels)

–          TE Tunnels between PE end points.. Question do we need the Tunnels ? If so why ?

–          ESR, exception to use TE Tunnel.

–          Pseudowire configuration.

–          MTU considerations



AToM,Any Transport Over MPLS, Data Center, power calculation, cooling system, fewer generator, Green Data Center, datacenter, data center services, data center management, about data centers, internet data centers, datacenter services, datacenter solutions Business continuity


The ingress PE router PE1 receives the packets and  attaches the VC label (label 33) onto the frame first. Then it pushes the tunnel/transport label which is 121. The tunnel/transport label is the one  that is  Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP) prefix of remote PE . This prefix is specified by the configuration of AToM. The MPLS packet is then forwarded to connected P router and then it is forwarded by same method , hop by hop, until the packet reaches the egress PE, PE2.

Notice that when the packet reaches the egress PE, the tunnel label has already been removed by PHP. This is because of the penultimate hop popping (PHP) behavior between the last P router and the egress PE. The egress PE then looks up the VC label in the label forwarding information base (LFIB), strips off the VC label, and forwards the frame onto the correct AC.

The P routers never need to look at the VC label; therefore, they do not need the intelligence to be able to do anything with the VC label, the best part is the P routers are completely unaware of the AToM solution.

Because the tunnel label is simply the LDP or RSVP-learned label, no special label distribution protocol has to be set up for AToM on the P routers. The MPLS backbone normally is already using either label distribution protocol. The VC label, however, needs to be associated with a certain AC and advertised to the remote PE. A targeted LDP session performs this job.

Its fun and interesting if you know how it works, the benefits of this technology are immense!


You can also keep up to date with current trends and technology by visiting Data Center Talk where we keep you informed on important changes as they occur.

Proposed "Data Furnaces" Could Use Server Heat to Warm Homes

As winter approaches, could a warm server take out the chill as opposed to a radiator or fireplace?

A makes the case that servers can be sent to homes and office buildings and used as a heat source. The household data centers, which Microsoft calls “Data Furnaces”, has three main advantages over traditional data centers: a Proposed Data Furnaces, Could Use Server, Heat to Warm Homes, Data Center, power calculation, cooling system, fewer generator, Green Data Center, datacenter, data center services, data center management, about data centers, internet data centers, datacenter services, datacenter solutions Business continuitysmaller carbon footprint, reduced total cost of ownership per server, and closer proximity to users.

US Environment Protection Agency

According to figures from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the nation’s servers and data centers consumed around 61 billion kWh in 2006 — 1.5 percent of the country’s total electricity consumption. And as one of the fastest growing sectors in the US, it was estimated that national energy consumption by servers and data centers could exceed 100 billion kWh nearly double by the end of the year.

Exhaust Air Temperature

“The temperature of the exhaust air (usually around 40-50°C) is too low to regenerate electricity efficiently, but is perfect for heating purposes, including home/building space heating, cloth dryers, water heaters, and agriculture,” the study states.

While it’s most likely that early adopters will be office buildings and apartment complexes with mid-sized data centers heating them, micro-datacenters on the order of 40 to 400 CPUs could serve as the primary heat source for a single-family home. These Data Furnaces would be connected to a broader cloud via broadband, and connect to the home heating system just like any conventional electric furnace.

Microsoft is far from the only company looking to combine the cost of powering servers and heating buildings.

Reusing Data Center Heat in Office

In 2007, for instance, Intel released a study on reusing data center heat in offices, and in 2010 it opened Israel first LEED-certified green building, which featured a 700-square-meter (about 7,500 square feet) server room where heat is recycled for hot water and winter heating.

In another interesting take on reusing data center heat, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, and IBM built a water-cooled supercomputer that provides warmth to university buildings. Dubbed “Aquarius”, the system consumes as much as 40 percent less energy than a comparable air-cooled machine, IBM reckons.

Data Furnace ideas

Microsoft identifies some challenges to their Data Furnace idea such as how to monitor and react to local changes in power and broadband usage, physical security, and the lack of dedicated system operators in a home. What is not discussed in the report is how servers would be cooled in warmer months, the risk of fire from overheating, and the potential noise that could come from so many servers.

While there’s still work to be done, the idea that electricity demand could be curbed by harnessing the heat from data center and putting it to good use is exciting and one that we’ll be following intently.


To keep yourself updated on the latest happenings in the data center industry, please visit us at Data Center Talk.

Smart Solutions with Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power has developed the Smart Solutions family of data center infrastructure for all data centers, regardless of their size; operational and business objectives. Balancing data center best practices for capacity, space utilization, availability and efficiency has been difficult without making making adjustments to the present infrastructure, hence these solutions.