IBM’s New Green Machine

IBM today announced a new supercomputer called Hydro-Cluster that uses water to cool down the device and reduce overall energy consumption. Call this a not-so-lean-yet-mean-green-machine. This system uses water-chilled copper plates above each of its microprocessors that continuously remove heat from the electronics, the company said in a press release, and claimed that it can cut data centers’ energy consumption by 40 precent. Up next? IBM says they are working on ways to allow water to go directly inside the chip. Once inside, the water can be routed out of the computer and pumped into the heating system for re-use.

Cisco Switches 10G, Makes Play For Data Centers

Cisco is getting really serious about data centers. Today, Cisco is announcing Nexus 7000 Series switching platform that is focused on what San Jose-based Cisco has dubbed Data Center 3.0. The company also added new products to its Catalyst line of switches.

Both Nexus and Catalyst 6500 are capable of handling data at speeds of 10 Gigabit per second. The new Catalyst Blade Switch, features a new technology called the Virtual Blade Switch (VBS) technology that allows up to eight switches to be managed as one logical switch for reduced infrastructure complexity.

The company also announced a new data center specific software OS that tries to combine storage networks, routing, switching and virtualization that has Cisco IOS interface. What Cisco is essentially trying to do is eliminate the need for separate storage and computing networks, combing them into one unified fabric and managing it through NX-OS. Tom Edsall, Cisco’s Data Center CTO tells Dan Farber:

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The GigaOM Interview: Dr. Mendel Rosenblum, Chief Scientist, VMWare

Right before the Christmas holidays I got a chance to catch up with Dr. Mendel Rosenblum, VMWare’s chief scientist and one of the company’s five co-founders. Rosenblum is also an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University. Given that VMWare was in a quiet period prior to the release of its quarterly results, my conversation with Rosenblum was quite general. But he did share with me, among other things, the story of how VMWare got started and his outlook for virtualization in 2008. Here are excerpts from the interview.

Why Facebook Needs Money: Data Centers

[qi:013] It is only a matter of time before Facebook gets some insane amount of money from someone like Microsoft (MSFT), but one thing is clear: it isn’t going to sit in the bank for very long. The company is growing way too fast and it needs a lot of servers and data center space. (OK if they want to be like Google (GOOG), they need to spend like Google.)

Data Center Knowledge blog is reporting that the company just signed a lease for new data center space in Virginia, which is on its way to becoming what seems like the data center capital of the world.

The deal for the 10,000 square feet of space in a new facility built by DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT), known as ACC4, was signed on Monday. It’s not clear when Facebook will start moving gear into the new space. I am keeping close tabs on Facebook’s cap-ex spending and if you have any special insights (or tips), send them my way.