ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc
A Certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

Issue 23

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Patti Hammonds

May 5, 2007

IN THIS ISSUE
Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms            Trivia         

Articles of Interest:  Adding High Density Servers           Rackmount Ranger Jokes

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Your Success Story

Here are some examples of what our clients are saying about our customer service.  When something "small" becomes an issue, we go the extra mile to make sure the clients' problems are resolved.

Jack,

I received the hardware kit.  Thanks for everything!  Youíll be hearing from me very soon as we are renovating a building we own and I am designing my new office and new server room from the ground up.

Thanks again!
Kenny MacDonald
IT Manager

Patti,

Thanks so much, Patti.  You guys delivered a great product by the way.  Hopefully I will have time to send you my official ďThank You" letter with pictures to boot.

Mike Franks
NOC Lead

Jack,

Iíve received the two replacement pieces in good shape and have placed them in their respective places.  Thanks for your help! And also thanks to the manufacturer who went that extra mile to make things right!  Thatís excellent customer service!

Larry D. Bechdol, MA, MCP
Data and Technology Coordinator
 

Monthly Product Special

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Information Support Concepts (ISC) announces the launch of a new product:  The Alert-A-Rack.

The Alert-A-Rack bundles two great products together to achieve a great price on a server cabinet with temperature and humidity sensors.

The Alert-A-Rack is available in three heights and two depths.  Each cabinet has the following features:

  • Adjustable stainless steel vertical mounting rails with U markings and square untapped holes
  • Fully perforated locking front and rear doors
  • Solid side panels with quick latches
  • Casters and levelers
  • Vented top panel that can host a dual fan unit (optional)
  • 30 M6 cage nuts and screws

Added to the cabinet is the SH-2+ sensor hub with temperature and humidity sensors.  The resulting combination is a cabinet optimized for high density servers, that can alert you in the event either the temperature and humidity exceed your pre-determined parameters for normal operation.  See this month's feature article on high density servers.

Call 800-458-6255 for more information.  Mention the May newsletter article for 5% off*!

*The 5% discount  will be applied to retail customers only, and cannot be combined with other offers. 
 Valid through May 31, 2007. 

Adding High-Density Servers
How Preparation Tames These Hot, Powerful Beasts
 

When you think of caustic combinations, several pairs easily spring to mind. Bleach and ammonia. Dogs and cats. High-density servers and older data centers. Each brings its own set of pitfalls that can be avoided through separation.

But for many companies, todayís IT climate demands the introduction of high-density servers into aging data centers, particularly when existing equipment no longer gets the job done or space requirements beg for smaller equipment. Unfortunately, blades and other high-density equipment canít simply be inserted into open floor space without serious consideration for cooling and power.
Companies familiar with the massive heat output and power draw of high-density servers might suppose itís not worth the trouble of adding such equipment to existing data centers, but experts in the field feel itís possibleóas long as the implementation follows a careful path.

Proper Planning

Bill Clifford has observed the evolution of data centers for 40 years, starting when people could peer through the glass windows, spy some free tiles, and plan on placing new equipment on those tiles. But now, says the Aperture Technologies CEO, new metrics require an exceptionally different strategy.

ďWith adequate planningóand that requires comprehensive understanding of all the equipment thatís currently on the data center floor and what its heat and power requirements areóyou can introduce blade servers on an intelligent basis," Clifford says. ďBut you cannot do it in the happenstance, ad-hoc manner along the lines that old data centers were designed."

Clifford explains that technicians at Intel, AMD, and other component and equipment manufacturers treat the semiconductor chip as a precious asset on which they continue to increase the clock speed of processors. But each time clock speed is boosted, the need for additional electrical power also rises, in turn increasing heat output. ďAs technology shrinks in terms of its footprint and the opportunity exists to pack more and more servers into a given rack, what youíre essentially doing is introducing little Coleman stoves on the data center floor."

Many data centers designed from the ground up to support high-density servers have few problems delivering enough power and cooling to support the equipment. But when those servers are mixed among tightly spaced racks that have lower power and cooling requirements, problems can occur quickly. Although the process varies depending on the data centerís architecture, some companies can easily address the power issue by simply adding 30-amp circuits to support the increased loads in high-density cabinets. However, dealing with the increased heat isnít quite so easy.

ďOlder data centersóparticularly smaller onesówere designed to provide a general level of cooling throughout the entire facility," says Jack Funchion, project manager at Align Communications. ďThey generally werenít packed tightly with enough stuff that it was an issue. What happens with the high-density cabinets is that you need a lot of cooling in one spot."

Because these cabinets require plenty of cold air pumping out of the floor and into the front of them, one solution is to remove the cabinets on either side of the new high-density cabinet. In fact, Funchion says that the amount of cold air required to cool five low-density cabinets is the same amount thatís needed to cool one high-density cabinet. In addition to removing cabinets from the sides, companies can also benefit from replacing older floor tiles with tiny perforated holes to newer tiles that boast significantly more open space. Funchion also stresses that hot and cold aisles are a necessity because without them, all of the hot air coming out the back of cabinets will go into the front doors of other cabinets.

Environment Analysis

Preparing for blades can be a tricky endeavor, particularly when bringing high-density servers into a room filled with older equipment. According to Andrew Hillier, co-founder and CTO of CiRBA, the transition to high-density servers is easier when data center personnel identify common pools of technologies already present.

ďYou can look for pools of similar things that have the same infrastructure requirements, perhaps the same application functions, and look for things that are somewhat commoditized that can be heavily commoditized," Hillier says.

If a company isnít up to speed on the intricate contents of its data center, a solution such as CiRBAís Data Center Intelligence can assist by delivering a detailed audit of all systems involved with the data center, in turn helping to cross-coordinate configurations. ďItís almost analogous to an inventory process but taking it a level deeper," Hillier says.

Of course, much of the preparation hovers around power and cooling, and the strategies surrounding those aspects can vary depending on the amount of the risk a company is willing to endure. Clifford explains that some companies assemble a worst-case snapshot of the power consumed and heat generated and base their upgrades on those factors. Others live closer to the edge, preparing their data center according to steady state, or run rate, power, heat, and cooling parameters.

Evolution Continues

Thereís no denying that high-density servers can easily throw a wrench into an existing data center if a company isnít prepared to deal with their hefty requirements. But the performance and space benefits are difficult to ignore, even for those who struggle to accommodate the equipment. In the end, those benefits are bringing both a new look and new attitudes to previously outdated data centers.

ďIn a lot of smaller data centers, what you see is that a lot of the knowledge is not institutionalized in any kind of a system," says Steve Yellen, vice president of marketing at Aperture Technologies. ďEverything thatís happening with high-density or blade servers is saying, ĎLook, you need to be smart about everything you do.í Itís really just forcing people to apply better discipline to managing the environment."

Says Clifford: ďI think many users are surprised at the level of sophistication and complexity that the data center proper and accurate data center design now entails. Itís no longer a guy with a ruler; itís now a guy with a Texas Instruments calculator, a lot of sophisticated modeling, and lots of consultation with all the vendors that will put products on that floor. Itís a lot of money. Itís a lot of time. And often the success of your business is riding on the success of that effort."

by Christian Perry for Processor (www.processor.com)

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Trivia Question
 

     Q:  What is a blue moon, and when will we experience the next one?  Hint:  It is closer than you think!

All correct answers will be placed into a pool for a random drawing at the end of the month.  The winner will receive a free 25 foot reel of reusable velcro cable ties (part number MD88-25RLBK), plus free ground shipping.  Send your answers to:    Jack Burlin

See next month's newsletter for the winner and the correct answer.

Answer from April's Newsletter.
     Q: What is the name for the longest side of a right triangle?  A right triangle has one 90 degree angle.

     A:  The Hypotenuse

The winner was Joe Kochuba.  Congratulations!

Kevinisms

A Kevinism is a funny or intriguing statement or idea from our Vice President of Sales, Kevin Hunt.  Kevin is a big fan of Sandra Bullock, Pizza Inn black olive pizza, and Dr. Pepper (not necessarily in that order).  He is not a big fan of Chinese food, seafood, or other types of "dead" stuff.

Recently Kevin has done some things that are quite ironic.  One of these events took place in one of our weekly sales meetings.  To understand just how strange this was, you need to know more about Kevin and his knowledge of the film industry.

Everyone knows that Kevin is a real Sandra Bullock fan.  Just recently when we were discussing different actresses, Kevin said he had advised Sandra Bullock not to marry "tattoo man" (which is what Kevin calls Sandra's new husband, Jesse James.)  This is vintage Kevin, because with the exception of Sandra Bullock, Kevin cannot give the correct name of anyone starring in any motion picture.  It takes Robin to translate in most cases.  For example, Kevin will come in on Monday and say that he and Robin had seen Wild Hogs over the weekend.  Then, although the movie stars John Travolta, William H. Macy and others, Kevin will say, "and Spencer Tracy was really funny in this movie," or "I loved Johnny Depp when he paired up with Jennifer Love Hewitt in Grease."  Kevin is quite famous for just throwing out any name for the people in these movies, then Robin will tell us who was really in the movie.  

Kevin's mind probably thinks John Travolta and then gets sidetracked by thinking about other actors named John, so you might get Johnny Depp or Olivia Newton John when he really wanted to say John Travolta.  Of course if he is thinking Olivia Newton John, then he would replace her name with someone else's.  I often wonder if Kevin just doesn't even try to come up with the correct name.  Sometimes it seems that way.

So what happened in our sales meeting was that Lisa was talking about a movie she saw on television over the weekend.  She said it had either Shirley McLain or Shirley Jones in it, but she confused the two and was not sure.

At this point, Kevin had the nerve to say, "you mean you don't know which one?"

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Rackmount Ranger Jokes
 

 

     Since introducing the live version of the Rackmount Ranger in March (see March newsletter), we have been brainstorming on how to take advantage of our new "superhero."  We have planned some video shoots, and there may be some personal appearances upcoming.  We have also been playing around with what I call "Rackmount Ranger Jokes."  These jokes are simple, and very similar to the "Elephant jokes" that were popular in the sixties.  A typical elephant joke went like this:

     Why did the elephant paint his toenails red?  So he could hide in Cherry trees.

     Rackmount Ranger jokes are a similar question and answer format, but revolve around the Rackmount Ranger's personal preferences.  In addition, there is a theme to these preferences.  Here are the first series of Rackmount Ranger jokes so far.

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite color?  Red.

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite professional football team?  The Redskins.  Note that this puts the Rackmount Ranger in the same company as Kevin, so this is a scary proposition.

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite professional baseball team.  The Red Sox (American League), and the Reds (National League).  Why not the Texas Rangers?  It doesn't match the theme.  I hope by now you are starting to pick up on the theme.  Here are some other jokes we have thought of.

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite perfume (for giving as gifts to his many lady admirers)?  Red (from Giorgio).

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite rock band?  Simply Red.

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite college team?  The Carthage College Red Men, although there used to be a lot of choices in this category, this is the only remaining college with a politically correct name for their athletic teams.

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite soft drink?  Big Red.

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite beer?  Killian's Irish Red.

     What kind of dog does the Rackmount Ranger own?  Irish Setter (sometimes known as the Red Setter).

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite whiskey?  Johnny Walker Red.

     What is the Rackmount Ranger's favorite energy drink?  Red Bull.

     We hope you have enjoyed the list so far.  You have probably already thought of one or two that could be added to the list.  I am happy to review them and possibly include them in a future newsletter.  If you will send them to me, and we publish them, you will get a suitable prize.  I am thinking a virtually indestructible keyboard or virtually indestructible mouse (optical, USB) might be nice prizes to award.  I look forward to getting your submissions.

    As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the newsletter this month.

     Jack Burlin

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Copyright iscdfw2.com, 1998-2006
Information Support Concepts, Inc.
Mansfield, Texas

ISC, Information Support Concepts, Inc. offers an Extensive Selection of Quality 19

ISC, Information Support Concepts, Inc. offers an Extensive Selection of Quality 19" and 23" Rackmount Enclosure Computer Racks, Server Cabinets, Server Racks, 2-Post and 4-Post Racks, LAN Racks, Portable Racks, Power, Rackmount LCD TFT Monitor Keyboards, Accessories and Much More for IT-Network-Telecom Professionals.