Cyber Security for Data Center Infrastructure Webinar

I’ll be speaking at AFCOM Data Center World in Vegas next month.  If you can’t make it to Vegas (or you simply can’t wait to hear me talk about cyber security) please join the FREE Meet-A-Speaker Webinar.

I’ll be discussing cyber weapons that target ICS/SCADA systems and their potential to disrupt data center infrastructure.

Details and registration information can be found here.

Some of the information I’ll be covering can be found in my blog post on this subject here.

Hope you can make it!

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AT&T Announces New Construction in NC Data Center Cluster

On Wednesday, AT&T announced plans to build a 900,000 square foot data center facility in Cleveland County, NC. 

I’ve posted a number of times on activity in the North Carolina data center cluster.  AT&T will be joining a distinguished roster of data centers that have decided to set up shop in North Carolina.  The list includes; 

  • T5 Data Centers (Wholesale data center provider)
  • Wipro Infocrossing (Managed services and cloud provider)
  • Disney
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Apple
  • Cisco
  • EMC
  • American Express
  • NetApp
  • IBM

Why all the data center construction in North Carolina?  A number of factors make this area a prime location.

  • Utility incentives friendly to data centers
    • Electricity is cheap, cheap, cheap!  (3.9-4.6 cents/kw-hr)
    • Electrical grid is reliable with multiple substation feeds available
    • Forward thinking utility provider Duke Energy
      • Solid long term plan for nuclear and renewable energy production
      • Industry leader in deployment of “green energy” and “smart grid” technologies
      • Waived utility connection fees
    • Fresh water is plentiful and inexpensive
    • Existing civil infrastructure require only small inprovements to support data centers (roads, city water, county water, waste water etc…)
    • Plenty of fiber. (AT&T, RST, PalmettoNet, TWC, DukeNet, Zayo & others)
  • Climate and environment
    • Cool climate is favorable to “free cooling” strategies
    • Area is geologically stable and not prone to earthquakes
    • Area is not prone to weather related natural disasters
    • Plenty of sunshine for solar.  (Apple recently announced a 20MW solar farm for their Maiden, NC data center)
  • NC government incentives friendly to data centers
    • Generous tax breaks
    • Waiving of building, zoning and development permit fees

Congrats to our friends in NC!  Another amazing win. 

Microsoft looking for data center property in Atlanta?

The Atlanta Business Chronicle is reporting that Microsoft may be scouting the Atlanta area for a new data center campus.  It appears that Microsoft is seeking 50-60 acres in the Lithia Springs area just east of downtown Atlanta. 

Lithia Springs is already home to a number of large data centers including Google, Synovus and Savvis

50-60 acres is huge chunk of land for data center development and indicates that Microsoft may be considering a very significant development in the Atlanta area.  

Important Nuclear Power Meeting Today in Atlanta

Representatives from the Southern Company are meeting with US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials today in Atlanta.  The NRC is expected to give its final verdict on a critical (pun intended) construction license for two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in South Georgia.

Plant Vogtle following construction

If approved, the reactors at Vogtle will be the first new American reactors in 30 years.

Protesters have started gathering outside the Federal building in Atlanta.  Fears that arose as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster (follow the link for some amazing NatGeo pictures from inside Fukushima) 11 months ago are at the top of the protester’s rhetoric.  The protesters include at least 9 groups that intend to challenge the project in Federal court. 

The new reactors will be Westinghouse’s Generation III+, AP1000 design.  The long term plan for America’s fleet of aging nuclear reactors includes the replacement of the pre-1970’s era General Electric boiling water reactor design with the advanced safety and technology package found in the AP1000.  The Vogtle project will be a significant first step in the badly needed technology refresh for American nuclear power.

One would think that protesters with Fukushima fears would be eager to see these new safer reactor technologies deployed.  Even the most ardent environmentalists have started to see the light that nuclear power has advantages over fossil fuel power generation technologies.  These warming views on nuclear power have been reinforced in recent weeks by controversies surrounding hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for natural gas and Federal roadblocks to use of oil extracted from Canadian tar sands.  

If approved, Vogtle Units 2 and 3 could be a major boon to economic development throughout the Southeastern Region.  According to Georgia Trend Magazine, “Site construction employment is expected to peak at 3,500 jobs during 2013 and 2014, with 800 new permanent employees needed to staff the new units when they begin operation in 2016 and 2017.”

In addition, the availability of plenty of electrical power will be an attractive feature for all types of industrial and commercial enterprises looking for new location.  Data center site selection criteria, in particular, values the availability of cheap, reliable and plentiful power very highly. 

Hopefully, the NRC will approve Southern Company’s construction license and the construction of Vogtle Units 2 and 3 will move forward.  This will lead to:

  • High paying construction jobs
  • Long term employment opportunities for nuclear trained personnel
  • New incentives for employers seeking to locate in the Southeast
  • A favorable environment for future data center construction
  • More reliable and safe nuclear power technology deployed in the US
  • And (of course) reduced dependence on foreign oil          

   

Data Center Mechanical Engineer Needed

Global accounting giant PriceWaterhouse Coopers is looking for a Mechanical Engineer with data center experience.  The candidate should have hands-on experience maintaining data center HVAC infrastructure. 

If you think this would be a good fit for you or for someone you know, please contact Tamara at pwc.

Tamara Burks | IFS Experienced Recruiting | PricewaterhouseCoopers |

Telephone: +1 813 348 8043 | Mobile: +1 813 507 1295 |

tamara.burks@us.pwc.com

Good Luck!