Thursday, May 29, 2008

Data Center Links

If you don't read John Rath's fantastic Data Center Links do yourself a favor, add it to your favorites and do so.

A great round up of data center news.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mission to Mars

The Mars Probe Phoenix touched down on the Red Planet yesterday. I was wondering how NASA can control a device on another planet. I work for a company called Minicom that manufactures KVM over IP technology solutions.
We have the ability to access and control the KVM of a server remotely from anywhere in the world. It looks like companies will need to have KVM access and control even on other planets. I was wondering what NASA would do if the probes computer OS crashes? Our KVM can even access a down computer. Do they have a remote KVM way of going to the Bios of the probe to repair it? What if the Probe OS freezes? Can they cut the power to power it down and then add power to restart it? If they don’t they should talk to us about our PowerOnCable solution that can do that via RS-232.

Does NASA have a management system to control a few probes from one central IP address or does the IT department have to remember and re-enter all the passwords and usernames all the time? Minicom Advanced Systems just created a management system called II that can access all servers, serial and network devices via a single IP address from anywhere in the solar system, including targets like video cameras and environmental monitoring devices. We even have IP gateways such as the PX IP Gateway that is ideal for non-blocking 1-to-1 remote access directly to mission critical devices, such as the probe. The PX includes virtual media, power control and absolute mouse synchronization. With our Customized Access Services NASA can create their own customized service using any application, URL, IP address or login method they want. I was thinking that with all of this technology we have become an advanced species to some far off planet. We have become the UFO’s.
Doesn’t that feel good?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Greening IT Up

GlassHouse Technologies has put out a white paper called Five Key Strategies for a Greener Data Center which is an interesting read.

They list five areas where there are potential cost savings:
1. Consume Intelligently
2. Consolidate Your Systems
3. Manage Storage Resources More Efficiently
4. Invest in a Greener Infrastructure
5. Consolidate Your Data Center Footprint

Well worthwhile reading the whole thing though.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nice Data Center Website

While surfing the net, I found a fantastic website in regard to data center design and solutions. The company is called PTS Data Center Solutions and they provide data center design. They even have their own blog.
I really like this picture which I found on their website:

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Interesting article here about how compression can reduce data center energy use by up to 95% The comments don't seem to be so complementary though.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

IBM Sets Sail For The Enterprise

Did you see the news about IBM? They are constructing huge data centers aimed at being data archives. The article doesn't mention remote access and control but would be interesting to know what sort they are planning to have?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Power of Knowledge

Have you see the Data Center Knowledge blog? It's an excellent resource for those wanting to be kept up to date about Data Centers.
They've been around for three years and have been providing daily news and analysis about the data center industry ever since. Well worthwhile checking out.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Continuing on the green theme we had yesterday, Blade Watch reports on a survey which concluded that there was a lack of industry standards for green datacenters. The thing about green data centers is they tend to go hand in hand with solutions which are mindful of the bottom line. For instance you want solutions that preserve your investment. Every time you move forward you don't want to have to start from scratch. That isn't progress - that's reinventing the wheel.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Green Data Centers - Literally!

Interesting post on the storage blog where its reported that planting vegetation on a roof makes it significantly cooler.
Great idea but I can't see IT managers standing out there with a watering can.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Firing Back

The other day we posted about Microsoft's plan to fill its Chicago data center with servers housed in 40-foot shipping containers. To his credit, Michael Manos, Director of Data Center Services for Microsoft came back with Microsoft's side of the story. He posted his comments on his blog and they are definitely worth reading if not for his sense of humor alone.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Real Needs

When budgets are shrinking, its important to spend just what you have to. The Real Needs™ approach is the answer to this problem which is keeping many people up at night. One is far better safeguarding one's investment by adding a technology layer on top of the legacy IT systems.
This cost-effective solution can save half the price of competing systems because one buys only what one needs. II and the IP Control, for centralized management and IP enablement respectively, are the only devices of their kind to offer legacy support of existing KVM infrastructure. Instead of spending thousands of dollars replacing server control systems you don't have, you can have the control and management you want, while at the same time keeping the bean-counters happy.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Interesting article from ARN on why Microsoft's plan to fill its Chicago data center with servers housed in 40-foot shipping containers won't work. You can't blame Microsoft for trying but is this the way to go? The article gives six reasons why it isn't. The solution to the data center riddle still needs to be solved and it will be a very lucrative one at that.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

SmartRack KVM Drawer + 116/116 IP Switch

At last week's Interop 2008 we unveiled four new products the first of which was the Smart 116/116 IP. This product along with the other three was designed following Minicom's new Real Needs™ initiative, focusing on preserving the clients' KVM legacy infrastructure.

This new SmartRack series comes with flexibility and adaptability in mind. Available
as a stand alone unit, or integrated with either a 116 or 116 IP, the new modular design allows for customers to buy what they need at the time and upgrade as their needs do.
The great thing about the SmartRack KVM switches is that they are compatible with all major operating systems and can control any server’s brand and model, regardless of the server condition and network connectivity, covering the entire spectrum of crash scenarios. Use the KVM switch to control up to 16 servers in multiple platforms (PS/2, USB). Minicom’s innovative ROC technology has each computer/ server directly connected to the switch via a ROC using standard CAT5 cable at a distance of up to 30m/100ft in a star configuration.
It is a a single rail solution that occupies just 1U of rack space.
The SmartRack 116 IP extends your KVM (keyboard, video, and mouse) from any computer or server over TCP/IP via LAN, WAN or Internet connection. Now you can control, monitor and manage up to 16 remote servers from wherever you are, inside or outside the organization. It's a cost-effective hardware solution, for secure remote KVM access & control of 16 computers/servers from the BIOS level - independent of the OS. One local analog or one remote digital IP user can access and control 16 multi-platforms (PS/2, USB) servers at a time.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Control & Monitor

Yesterday an event called Control & Monitor took place in Tel Aviv. Eight companies were invited to attend and it was an opportunity to showcase your stuff to 300 industry-related people. Amongst the other seven companies were HP Israel, AI Systems, Ayehu, 3CSI and Alexander Schneider.
Each company had time to speak. In our slot, Minicom gave its Real Needs™ presentation. The focus of this is the ability to upgrade control of your mission critical devices while preserving your investment. Each company also had a booth.
Here are some photos from the day: