Time Lapse: Building Dell’s Big Data/OpenStack MDC — allowing customers to test at hyper scale

April 1, 2013

Back in September I posted an entry about the Modular Data Center that we set up in the Dell parking lot.  Here is a time lapse video showing the MDC and the location being built out.

The MDC allows customers to test solutions at scale.  It is running OpenStack and various Big Data goodies such as Hadoop, Hbase, Cassandra, MongoDB, Gluster etc…

Customers can tap into the MDC from Dell’s solution centers around the world and do proof of concepts as well competitive bake-offs between various big data technologies so they can determine which might best suit their environment and use case.

Extra-credit reading


Addressing eBay’s Project Mercury needs with Dell’s Modular Data Center

April 17, 2012

Back on December12, eBay held their grand opening for their Project Mercury data center in Scottsdale, Arizona.  In attendance were all the partners that contributed along with members of the Data Center Pulse group.  Although the event itself wasn’t secret, the details were held in check until a couple of weeks ago when Derrick Harris posted his article in GigaOm

Some of the details published were the actual PUE numbers around Dell’s Modular Data Center:

Project Mercury gets free cooling year round, even in the heat of summer. On Aug. 23, 2011 — a 119-degree day — one of eBay’s Dell units had a partial-PUE score 0f 1.044 while drawing 520 kilowatts of power. On January 17, 2012, while drawing 1 megawatt, the same unit had consistent partial PUE of 1.018 while the rest of the data center was doing between 1.26 and 1.35.

And the winner is

Today the Uptime Institute announced that this Modular Data Center Product Deployment by eBay and Dell were named recipients of the 2012 Green Enterprise IT Award.

Here is a video I did at the opening back in December with Dell’s GM for our Data Center Solutions group, Roy Guillen.  Roy talks about what eBay was looking for and how we answered the challenge.

Some of the ground Roy covers:

  • The challenge that eBay issued
  • How Dell got involved
  • The evolution of Dell’s Modular Data Center and what eBay proved about the ability to group a whole bunch of workloads that don’t require tier 4 resiliency

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Cote and I discuss Dell World and our new Web|Tech Vertical

October 19, 2011

Last week we held Dell’s first Dell World event here in Austin, Texas.  The two-day event was targeted at CxOs and IT professionals and featured an expo, panels and speakers such as CEOs Mark Benioff, Paul Otellini, Steve Ballmer and Paul Maritz as well as former CIO of the United States, Vivek Kundra.  And of course, being Austin, it also featured a lot of great music and barbeque.

At the end of the first day Michael Cote grabbed sometime with me and we talked about the event.

Some of the ground I cover:

  • Dell World overview and our Modular Data Center
  • (3:35) Talking to press/analysts about our new Web|Tech vertical and our focus on developers
  • (6:00) The event’s attempt to up-level the conversation rather than diving into speeds, feeds and geeky demos.

The Dell Modular Data Center on the expo floor (photo: Yasushi Osonoi:@osonoi)

(double click to see full sized)

Extra Credit reading

Pau for now…


A Walk-through of Dell’s Modular Data Center

September 13, 2011

In my last entry I featured a video with the Bing Maps imagery team.  In it they talked about why they went with Dell’s Modular Data Center (MDC) to help power and process all the image data they crunch.  For a deeper dive and a look at one of these babies from the inside join Ty Schmitt and Mark Bailey in the following video as they walk you through the MDC and how it works.

Some of the ground Ty and Mark cover

  • The various modules that make up the MDC
  • The topology of the system
  • How the outside temperature dictates which of the three cooling methods is used
  • The racks inside the MDC and how they were able to pull the fans out of the individual servers
  • A closure look at the power module

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Bing Maps team on why they went with Dell

September 13, 2011

A little while ago I posted an entry talking about how Bing Maps was using Dell’s Modular Data Centers to power their new uber-efficient, uber-compact data center (or as Microsoft calls it  “microsite”), located in Longmont, Colorado.  But don’t take my word for it…

Below is a recent video of members of the Bing Maps’ imagery team, Tom Barclay, Brad Clark and Ryan Tracy, talking about what their needs were and why they chose Dell.  (BTW, the written case study is also available now).

Some of the ground the team covers

  • Bing Maps leading the way and  trying things out at Microsoft before the rest of the company.
  • Producing the imagery for Bing Maps including photographing all of the US and Western Europe and then stitching it all together with the help of tremendous processing power.
  • Their goal was to bring on additional capacity to support current and future site goals at the lowest cost, in the fastest amount of time with the least amount of down time.
  • Why they went with Dell and what they gained.

Extra-Credit reading

Pau for now…


Dell’s Modular Data Center powers Bing Maps

August 1, 2011

Late last week we announced that Dell’s Data Center Solutions group had outfitted Bing Maps’ uber-efficient, uber-compact data center (or as Microsoft calls it  “microsite”), located in Longmont, Colorado.  The facility is a dedicated imagery processing site to support Streetside, Bird’s Eye, aerial and satellite image types provided by Bing Maps.  The site’s key components are Dell’s Modular Data Centers and Melanox Infiniband networking.

Brad Clark, Group Program Manager, Bing Maps Imagery Technologies described their goal for the project, “Our goal was to push technological boundaries, to build a cost effective and efficient microsite.  We ended-up with a no-frills high-performance microsite to deliver complicated geospatial applications that can in effect ‘quilt’ different pieces of imagery into a cohesive mosaic that everyone can access.”

Keeping things cool

The challenge when building out the Longmont site was to design a modular outdoor solution that was optimized for power, space, network connectivity and workload performance.

The modules that Dell delivered use a unique blend of  free-air with evaporative cooling technology, helping to deliver world-class efficiency and a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) as low as 1.03.

To watch the whole site being built in time-lapse check this out:

Extra-credit reading


Construction complete on Microsoft’s “Cloud Farm”

January 10, 2011

In Data Center Knowledge last week there was a short article, accompanied by a set of photos, that gave view into Microsoft’s very cool new “Cloud Farm” data center.  The design of the data center, which is located in Quincy Washington, was driven by Microsoft’s use of some ultra-cool modular data centers :) .  It was the modular nature of these units that helped Microsoft finish their initial deployment at their new facility in only eight months.

One of the modular data centers at Microsoft's Cloud Farm. Dang, those are good looking units. (Photo source: Data Center Knowledge)

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


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