Physical Security for Cloud Data Centers

As I’ve watched the momentum of the Cloud, it’s caused me to reflect upon earlier discussions about data center physical security.  It’s long been my opinion that physical security will soon emerge (or re-emerge) as a top issue in data center planning, since businesses and consumers alike are increasingly reliant on the data and transaction processing being concentrated into these facilities.

In the late ‚ 1990’s, I was in the UK prospecting for data center space for an initial European footprint for E*Trade.  During that prospecting trip, I toured an old AT&T data center in a remote area North of London.  This facility was surrounded by earthen berms at least eight feet high, as well as a very sturdy barbed wire fence.  Why all this for a facility in the middle of the country side?

Wind Power for Data Centers

The challenge in using green energy alternatives such as wind or solar power in data centers is power density.   Data centers consume a lot of power with respect to their physical footprint, so they need very large solar arrays or large wind turbine farms to generate the necessary power for the facility.  Consequently, the amount of time required to reach the positive ROI point with the solar or wind power equipment is typically quite long.  This economic detail is often the inflection point for deciding whether to apply green energy alternatives in the data center plan.