Tag: Open BigCloud Symposium

Making Data Centers Smarter and Greener

Founder of Silicon Hills News

Facebook data center, photo courtesy of Facebook

Facebook data center, photo courtesy of Facebook

Facebook has saved $1.3 billion in the last three years by making its data centers more energy efficient.

That’s enough energy to power 40,000 houses a year and saves on carbon emissions the equivalent of taking 50,000 cars off the road, said Charlie Manese, vice president of channel development for Facebook’s Open Compute Project and infrastructure.

Facebook’s data centers run on alternative energy including hydrodynamic and wind power.

The company has focused on making its data centers faster, leaner and better since it broke ground four years on its first “green” data center project in Prineville, Oregon.

Manese spoke Thursday morning on the last day of the two-day Open BigCloud Symposium focused on cloud computing and big data. The conference, held at the University of Texas at San Antonio, attracted about 200 people and featured presentations from Rackspace, Facebook, Gartner, Internet2, Dell, University of Texas Advanced Computer Center and others.

The Open Compute Project started at Facebook in 2011. A big focus of the Open Compute Project is to share best practices with software, hardware, networks and data center designs to increase efficiency and cut down on energy consumption.

“There’s a lot more data being created these days than ever before,” said Attilia Finta with Dell. His presentation focused on infrastructure cooling technology used in the data centers to keep the servers from overheating.

Ron Mann, a senior director of data center infrastructure with Hewlett-Packard showed off the container-sized data centers that HP can put in tight spaces and even on rooftops. Some of the data center containers have even been painted to look like mobile homes.

The efficient data centers are greatly needed because the world is awash in data, and the amount of data created has greatly accelerated in the last few years, said Frank Frankovsky, chairman of the Open Compute Project Foundation. It has grown from .8 zettabytes (one zettabyte equals 1 billion terabytes) of data in 2010 to 2.8 zettabytes in 2012. And it’s expected to hit 40 zettabytes in 2020, he said.

UTSA Hosts the Open BigCloud Symposium

Founder of Silicon Hills News

BnC9n-kCYAA9gdwSome of the biggest trends in technology today are the cloud, a fancy name for data centers, and big data, the massive bits and bytes of information flowing through those data centers.

At the University of Texas at San Antonio, more than 100 people met Wednesday to discuss hardware, software and networks around those topics at the first Open BigCloud Symposium.

“This is about the future of cloud computing and big data,” said UTSA President Ricardo Romo.

He compared the ideas and innovation around the Open Cloud environment to Detroit during its heyday of the automotive industry.

“A collision of ideas that’s what’s going to happen here,” he said.

Romo also cut the ribbon to officially open the UTSA Open Compute Project Certification and Solutions Laboratory. The only other lab of its kind is in Taiwan.

Frank Frankovsky, president and chairman of the Open Compute Project Foundation, praised the project.

“There are incredibly innovative people in the state of Texas driving the industry forward,” he said.

The two-day Open BigCloud Symposium features more than 20 speakers in the HEB University Center Ballroom at the UTSA main campus. Most of it is highly technical with sessions like “Using ZeroVM and Swift to Build a Compute Enabled Storage Platforms” and “Composable Rack Scale Archecture Storage.” But some of the sessions address universal issues facing the technology industry like the shortage of women in technology and fostering entrepreneurship.

In 2012, Rackspace hosted the Open Compute Summit and hosted more than 500 people involved in the Open Compute Project, which Frankovsky and his team launched at Facebook in 2011. The project’s goal focuses on creating the most efficient computer hardware and software for data center. Major players like Facebook, Rackspace, Hewlett Packard, Dell and Microsoft back the project.

The Open Compute Project is driven by collaboration, contributions and consumption or the adoption of the technology by industry, Frankovsky said.

UTSA is becoming a nationally recognized hub of innovation in the Cloud and big data technology, said Lorenzo Gomez, director of the 80/20 Foundation and Geekdom.

The 80/20 Foundation has donated more than $4 million in endowed partnerships in cloud computing technology to UTSA, Gomez said.

The research, the academia and industry coming together at UTSA is extremely important said John Engates, Rackspace’s Chief Technology Officer.

“We at Rackspace believe open is supercritical,” Engates said.

Open and collaborative environments help companies innovate faster, Engates said. It also means freedom. It also allows people to do their work remotely easily, he said. An open environment also allows companies to share the risks and rewards of research and development and innovation, he said.

“Getting people on a bobsled together and going in together I think that’s supercritical,” he said.

In 2010, Rackspace and NASA jointly created the OpenStack , an open source cloud software. Today, Rackspace runs the largest OpenStack cloud in the world today, Engates said.

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