Data centre 101

Summary:Secrecy seems to shroud the data centre arena -- all well and good for security's sake, but not so great when trying to pick a provider. RMIT IT Test Labs' Kire Terzievski pulls back the curtains to find what data centre options exist.

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Sidebar: HP develops smart rack
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HP develops smart rack

Business executives and bureaucrats are salivating over the potential labour-saving benefits of RFID identification technology, and soon technology workers may find reason to be enthusiastic, too.

HP is working on a smart rack that incorporates RFID systems to make data centres easier to manage. The racks, which could hit the market within the next two years, can instantly take stock of servers and alert staff to problems such as overheating.

A group of researchers here at HP Labs demonstrated a smart rack prototype this week during a media tour of the company's new RFID Demo Center.

Each shelf in the rack is equipped with an RFID reader designed to read high-frequency signals from servers with special chips storing the machine's unique ID number. By giving data centre managers the ability to take instant inventories, smart racks could eliminate labour-intensive stock checks requiring the physical inspection of each rack, says Salil Pradhan, HP Labs' chief technologist for RFID.

The next-generation server racks should also reduce the risk of lost or misplaced machines whose hard drives store important information. In addition, they could help streamline the servicing and maintenance of gear by keeping better work records for each machine. HP is working on temperature sensitive RFID chips to help quickly spot heat problems and avoid outages -- Alorie Gilbert.

This article was first published in Technology & Business magazine.
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Topics: Security, Big Data, Hewlett-Packard, Networking

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