Top ten data center stories of 2006
December 01, 2006

By Staff
Appeared in

As we grind toward the year's end, birds fly south, shoppers swarm the malls and IT trade pubs makes lists. Here are's top ten data center stories of 2006, ranked by page view popularity.

Obviously metrics were top of mind for data center pros this year -- as both our number one and number two stories were about measuring data center performance. The number one story, Uptime Institute warns against tier standard misuse illustrated how overestimating your site's availability levels can lead to unpleasant consequences. The number two story, Syska Hennessy proposes new data center performance metric examines a new, more detailed rating system for data center components.

The next major area of interest was mainframe migration. Everybody stops to look at a train wreck -- same concept here. Some shop tries to make the jump off of Big Iron and everybody lines up to see the carnage. But sometimes it's painless, like in this instance Korean insurer retires 7,000 MIPS mainframes -- it's the holidays, so we'll give you a happy ending.

More blade servers are moving into the data center now that IT pros and vendors are figuring out ways to deal with the density roadblocks. Well, almost everybody -- Dell downplays blades.

Data center site selection has become increasingly important, mainly due to the price of power. Why the heck else would businesses be flocking to the banks of the Columbia River and grain silo country? Check out this list of the top ten cheapest places to plop down your facility -- Data center locations ranked by operating cost. When it comes to relocating critical operations, companies need to consider a lot of factors, therefore coming in at number six we have this Q&A ITIL expert gives advice on datacenter relocation.

Despite pretty much every prediction in the last decade, Triassic-Era T-Rex still walk the earth, devouring the hoards of x86-based rodents that are trying to crawl out of the primordial stew and into the data center. Big Iron has evolved and as a result new mainframe sales are booming -- IBM upgrades z/OS; makes $100M commitment to mainframe. In order to deal with the next generation of mainframes, companies are going to need to train the next generation of mainframe pros: Mainframer stereotype bucked by 23-year-old woman.

It's taken a while, but "going green" has finally arrived for IT. Companies like HP and Sun aren't just competing on server performance anymore. Now they're competing on who consumes less energy. But one area vendors aren't as keen on talking about is what happens when we throw out their servers. Coming in at number nine: National e-waste legislation to keep hardware costs lower.

Last but certainly not least on our list is liquid cooling. Nobody wants more plumbing in the data center, but you can't fight physics. Liquid is exponentially more efficient than air at conducting heat, and the closer you get to the heat source the more efficient the transfer. Therefore, some companies are getting as close as they can and that means chip-level cooling: SprayCool: ISR rolls out chip-level liquid cooling.