IT Infrastructure News | February 2013

‘Poop powered’ data centres, plenty of expansion in both the datacentre and structured cabling markets, and the atom-thick material which could replace just about everything in IT – these are just a few of the stories which have caught our eye over the winter months. Remember to follow us on @excel_it for regular updates and news.

The future of everything?!

As the European Commission announced the award of €1bn to researchers to find ways to exploit graphene, the University of Cambridge also prepared to launch its own Graphene Centre, aiming to push discoveries from the lab to industry.

Excitement about graphene, a one-atom thick material with a remarkable range of properties, stems from its potential to replace silicon and other materials in a range of industrial applications. Graphene is the thinnest “two-dimensional” material, an excellent electricity conductor, stronger than steel, harder than diamond and has ideal optical properties.

Applications might include electronic and optical devices, flexible electronics, wearable electronics and batteries.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/graphene-gets-1bn-boost-as-eu-ploughs-funds-into-research-7000010419/

Structured cabling market to exceed $8 billion by 2015

A new report has predicted that the stable growth which has characterised the global structured cabling market over recent years is set to continue, with the market growing from its 2011 turnover of $5.6 billion to exceed $8 billion by 2015.

While the US still dominates this market, China and the Asia Pacific region show the most growth potential over the next five years.

The Bishop & Associates Inc. report analyses the market for structured cabling components and evaluates what products may be introduced in the future. It also discusses the ongoing battle between copper and fiber systems and how this will play out in the coming years.

Source: http://www.sys-con.com/node/2512280

Not just London

While the IT industry as a whole often looks to London as its driver of growth, it is clear that the datacentre expansion is having a big impact on cities around the UK.

Data City Exchange has recently confirmed that its £60m flagship development in Birmingham will officially open in March 2013. The campus incorporates 10MW of power and has targeted energy use of 70% less than traditional datacentres due to ‘free air cooling and use of renewable energy sources and carbon footprint reduction technologies.’

Meanwhile, a consortium in Leeds has announced it is going ahead with a planned £43m datacentre which they claim will be the largest independent facility outside London. Telecoms firm aql are working with Leeds and Partners on the site which they hope could attract more major players in the industry to join existing names such as Cogent, SSE Telecom, Level (3), Janet and Fujitsu.

Sources: http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/focus/archive/2012/11/%C2%A360m-data-center-open-england%E2%80%99s-second-city and http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/focus/archive/2012/11/%C2%A343m-data-center-be-built-north-england

And finally, that ‘poop powered’ datacentre

Microsoft’s search for a sustainable power source for new datacentres has led them to build what the Daily Mail at least has dubbed ‘the world’s first poop-powered datacentre’.

The team behind the new plant claim that it will be carbon-neutral and off-grid, powered instead by biogas extracted from wastewater treatment plants, farms and landfills.

The project will involve the installation of one of Microsoft’s ITPAC datacentre modules at the site of a wastewater treatment facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Brian Janous, the company’s data center utility architect, says strategically, the project is an “opportunity to demonstrate a concept we can then prove out at scale, as we go across the globe.” If the experiment in Wyoming is successful, Microsoft will be able to “go globally, where we have customer demand, and utilize what we see as a wasted energy resource.”

Sources: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2236107/Microsoft-plans-build-data-center-Wyoming-runs-human-animal-poop.html#ixzz2Jw7DxJtn (or for a slightly more technical look) http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/focus/archive/2012/11/microsoft-turning-sewage-bytes-wyoming