Monthly Archives

November 2017

Data Centers At Cell Towers? It’s Not Impossible

By | Data Centers

As more and more content is accessed on mobile devices, there is more and more strain placed on “edge networks”. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult for these edge locations to keep up with demand, sending data to and from far-flung data centers and cloud providers. There’s been some talk of creating micro data centers at cell tower sites to help support this load.

This is an interesting idea that has a lot of potential. Doing this kind of computing locally can reduce logjams at the central data center/repository and increase the speed at which data is processed. Google already does this, though not at cell towers. Learn how Google’s edge network functions by clicking here.

Why Micro Data Centers At Cell Towers Could Be a Good Idea

Edge computing is basically a hybrid cloud environment where smaller data centers share information with larger, more centrally-located centers. A micro data center located at a cell tower could be an ideal way to provide faster data services and siting micro data centers at cell tower sites could be a good way to maximize use of already developed land. Micro data centers are small, compact, self-contained footprints that could provide a much needed service without taking up much space at the tower site. Requiring as little as 100 square feet of space, a cell tower-based micro data center isn’t impossible. They’re also increasingly affordable thanks to an increase in out-of-the-box solutions and modular capabilities.

Of course, there are a lot of questions still to be answered and logistics to work through like site and data security, and translating radio traffic and packets, but the idea has merit and we’re curious to see where it goes and how this concept develops.

This is just more evidence that the data center world is ever-changing! It’s always interesting to see what’s up-and-coming in this industry!

What do you think about placing micro data centers at cell tower sites? Do you currently rely on micro data centers for your business?

Micro Data Centers Make Inroads In-House

By | Uncategorized

Data centers are often thought of as large, sprawling complexes that can’t be missed; and that’s an accurate description for many of them. But there are also the smaller, forgotten data centers that are located within an enterprises’ own facility. They may not go by the name “data center”. They might be the “tech closet” or “IT department”, but when it comes right down to it, they’re data centers.

Many small and mid-sized enterprises choose to outsource their data center operations, but just as many are choosing to keep those operations in-house and they are changing the face of the in-house data center. The advance of these “micro data centers” has seen a decline in the old way of doing things: take your best guess at capacity needs, build a room that supports that max load, and implement a siloed approach to data center management.

As many organizations have discovered, that’s a time-consuming and cost-heavy approach that usually over compensates for actual demand. It’s no surprise, then, that organizations have sought a new way to manage the data center that moves away from this piecemeal approach: the micro data center.

The Hyperconvergence Connection

Just as hyperconvergence has become the next big thing in the management of large data centers, it’s being used on a smaller scale at in-house data centers as well. Hyperconvergence is the integration of computing/processing, storage, and networking resources into a single chassis. Increasingly, those components are being deployed in a single rack referred to as a micro data center.

Advantages Of Micro Data Centers

Micro data centers are readily available; some are even preconfigured for even easier set-up and administration. This makes managing a data center in-house much more attractive for small and mid-sized businesses that don’t have the resources to manage a large data center themselves but don’t really need all of the services of a contract data center. What makes these micro centers even more attractive is their modular nature; scale up or down as needs change.

Using micro data centers in this way reduces much of the upfront cost of a traditional data center build while capitalizing on existing space and power costs. There’s even some tax advantages since such systems can be classified as business equipment as opposed to building improvements. Equipment depreciates faster than building investments.

Finally, micro data centers provide strong resilience benefits. If one micro set-up fails, the loss can be absorbed by others on the same network.

The micro data center is proof that not all advancements in IT require huge investments and are only available to the big guys. This type of smart use of technology is helping even the smallest of organizations reap many of the same benefits as their bigger competitors!

Cannabis Farmers Use Generators To Try And Save Crops After Wildfires

By | Generators

There’s been a lot of focus on the damage California’s recent wildfires have done to the region’s winemakers, but an equally as hard-hit industry are the marijuana growers. The fires could not have hit at a worse time – October is harvest time and recreational sales in California are set to being in January 2018. Many cannabis farmers are now facing an uncertain future, but are doing what they can to save their crops.

Generators are helping them do so.

Power For Water And Clean Up 

Growers have turned to generators to help salvage what they can of their marijuana crops. For some, that means using generators to pump water to their plants. For others, generators are powering fans so farmers can try and keep the heat down and clear out smoke and pollutants released by the fires. Even if crops can be saved, growers face quality concerns over plants that have been coated in soot and ash.

Safety First

Although generators are often used to help grow marijuana, and in this case, save crops, they do have dangers, if they aren’t properly operated. In fact, one of California’s 2016 wildfires has been traced back to a portable generator.

Hopefully, now that growing is legal in the state, farmers will take proper precautions and consult electricians and generator providers to create a safer operation. Both electricians and generator providers can help farmers properly size their power equipment, ensure it is properly connected to the growhouse, and even create automatic systems that require less manual operation. All three of those steps can help prevent overheated engines and reduce the risk of power loss and/or a fire starting.

Contact Critical Power Products & Services For Generator Sales And Rental

If you need to supply power to a remote cannabis operation or need to get your farm cleaned up after the 2017 wildfires, contact Critical Power Products & Services. We offer generator sales and rentals to provide power in locations that are not supplied by the local grid or that are recovering from a sustained power outage.

Call 1-877-832-7120 or visit www.criticalpower.com for more information.

Microgrids Get A Fresh Look

By | Green

After the hurricanes the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. has seen this year, there’s been a lot of talk about stabilizing and improving the power grid to contend with major events. One idea is that of microgrids, which are used throughout Alaska and in other states to power business, industries, and communities, some of which are extremely remote and difficult to connect to the main power grid.

What Is A Microgrid?

A microgrid is a localized energy grid that operates independent of the power grid. It is connected the main power grid, but can be disconnected if need be. The main purpose is to stabilize power supply to that specific location; when the main grid dips or fails, the microgrid can pick up the slack.

The microgrids in Alaska are powered by a variety of solutions: wind, solar, hydroelectric, diesel generators, batteries, and even flywheels are all used. In many cases, more than one source of power is used. The state has been investing in microgrids for over 50 years and can provide a lot of guidance industries, communities, and states interested in stabilizing their power supply.

Microgrids can be as large or small as you need them to be. Small, site-specific grids can be particularly helpful for hospitals, universities, military bases, and other key service providers, allowing them to keep operations going when the main grid goes down, such as after some of the hurricanes we’ve seen this year.

Resurgence Of The Microgrid

Microgrids aren’t a new concept, they just fell out of favor when centralized grids became a more cost-effective solution. Why would communities invest in their own microgrid when the energy companies were providing reliable power at less cost?

Now, however, microgrids are getting a second look, particularly in areas that are hard-hit by natural disasters, where it is difficult to maintain a traditional grid, and by businesses and communities that want to invest in renewable sources of energy. Technology has improved; costs have come down, and the demand for power reliability has increased. Modern society can’t function without power, which is forcing business and government leaders to consider how best to provide that power, in any way possible.

The microgrid may just be the answer.