25-01-2016, 08:36 #1
- Data de Ingresso
- Sep 2010
Facebook anuncia construção do seu 4º data center
Facebook anuncia construção do seu 4º data center
DUBLIN, Irlanda - O Facebook anunciou que está construindo seu quarto centro de processamento de dados. Será o segundo da companhia na Europa e o primeiro aqui na Irlanda, que desde 2009 serve como sede internacional da rede social.
A unidade ficará em uma vila do condado de Couty Meath chamada Clonee, que fica cerca de 14 km ao norte da capital, Dublin. Lá será montada uma infraestrutura capaz de manter ativos serviços e aplicativos que atendem usuários no mundo inteiro.
Segundo o CEO Mark Zuckerberg, o centro de Clonee será “um dos data centers mais avançados e energeticamente eficientes no mundo”. Para isso o Facebook está apostando na frequência de ventos fortes local. “Como [acontece] nos data centers de Fort Worth, Altoone e Lulea, esta localização rodará totalmente com energia renovável graças ao suplemento abundante de vento que já existe na Irlanda”, escreveu Niall McEntergart, engenheiro responsável pela unidade.
Quanto tudo estiver pronto o Facebook terá dado mais um passo rumo ao seu plano de ter, até o fim de 2018, 50% de toda a sua infraestrutura mundial tocada com energia limpa.
“Um detalhe de engenharia interessante é que vamos esfriar a instalação com ar de fora, mas porque ela está próxima ao Mar da Irlanda nós usaremos um processo indireto de refrigeração para filtrar o sal do ar”, explicou Zuckerberg.
A companhia não diz exatamente quanto pretende gastar com o centro, fala apenas em “centenas de milhões de euros” e na criação de centenas de empregos na construção e outras dezenas nas áreas operacionais. As construções já começaram e a expectativa é que a inauguração ocorra entre o final de 2017 e o começo de 2018.
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25-01-2016, 08:54 #2
What Facebook's "On This Day" shows about the fragility of our online lives
If we’re channeling our energy into tweets and status updates, where are we creating anything that is built to last?
Leigh Alexander | The Guardian
Monday 25 January 2016
Can you remember how you were feeling on this day last year? How about three years ago? Facebook can, and if you’re a regular user of the service, you may have noticed that for the better part of the last year, it’s been ready to remind you.
“We care about you and the memories you share here,” the platform warmly intones, offering a confetti draped image of a photo or status update from some time ago. Theoretically this is a sensible idea – we upload massive reams of stuff to our online networks, and our fleeting day-to-day engagements with these services are easy to forget, and occasionally fun to remember. Sure, you’d like to be reminded that your friend’s wedding was six years ago now, and look how much fun you had then! Or look how three years ago you posted about your favorite coffee shop, and now just today you did almost the exact same thing. Ha ha! Good times!
Except all too often the algorithm chooses posts that we’d really rather not “like to look back on,” as Facebook suggests. At best there’s some comedy in the idea that you’d appreciate a tender, wistful reflection on the time you took a picture of a snack. At worst, announcements of job loss, photos of happy days with your now-ex, a pet that has died, or a family illness are suddenly unearthed without warning, served into your day along with Facebook’s chirpy, intimate good-day wishes. When I polled Twitter to ask about some of the most egregious violations, one person recalled having Facebook “warmly” remind her of the time she shared the missing persons poster for a friend who ultimately was not found alive.
Someone else once used Facebook to keep family and friends updated about how their mum’s cancer treatment was going – she’s fine now, but seeing those old daily updates were an unpleasant reminder. Frightening times packaged in a “caring” Facebook memory box. It’s common for people to get lovely party pictures from weddings that led to divorces, or friendships that ended acrimoniously.
It seems Facebook is still experimenting with the feature, which it calls On This Day. In October it added some filters that allow users to control the experience by excluding particular dates or people – one woman said the ability to exclude periods of time was crucial to her wish to forget the time before her transition. But as with lots of Facebook features, these controls can be tough for the average user to find (here they are in the Help Center), and there doesn’t actually seem to be any way to reliably turn On This Day off (we got in touch with Facebook’s external PR firm to confirm details of how the feature actually works, but they were unable to help).
Though many users might not like On This Day, few are surprised – we’ve come to expect unwanted “features” to keep sprouting up out of Facebook like spores. We tolerate this sort of encroachment as so many of us have come to depend on Facebook as a hub for social connections, daily chat, and as a way of keeping up with people we don’t know well but would like to. Admittedly, my personal user file is massive – what would happen to all my pictures, my personal history, if I tried to get away?
But there’s more to learn from the On This Day feature than simply another lesson in how creepy Facebook is and how difficult it is to get away from. Certainly the discomfort we feel in the face of these unwelcome “looks back” is partially to do with Facebook’s invasive qualities, and the revelation of how much of ourselves we have volunteered to it. But part of the palpable dissonance clearly comes from the fact that many of our posts were never intended to become “memories” in the first place. An important question gets raised here: what’s the purpose of all this “content” we serve to platforms, if it’s useless in constructing a remotely valuable history of ourselves? Are we creating anything that’s built to last, that’s worth reflecting on, or have social media platforms led us to prize only the thoughts of the moment?
These platforms have led to a shift in the daily computer user’s thinking and self-expression. In a world of status updates and tweets the longform idea starts to become a luxurious rarity; our primary means of receiving and processing news and culture becomes the “take”, a shareable response designed for live conversation and the ideas of the day, not for the authority of permanence. So many of the things we post lose energy and purpose outside of their intended moment. Even some of my own columns I’ve written on daily issues startle me, in that in five years – no, even in one year – the context will have well and truly passed, leaving ideas dangling, illogical, useless outside their time.
We generally think of social media as a tool to make grand announcements and to document important times, but just as often – if not more – it’s just a tin can phone, an avenue by which to toss banal witterings into an uncaring universe. Rather, it’s a form of thinking out loud, of asserting a moment for ourselves on to the noisy face of the world.
The mostly useless On This Day feature makes clear how fragile our histories online are becoming. If we’re channeling our energy into hot takes, context-dependent tweets and fleeting daily status updates, where are we storing our actual histories?
Though I’m an avid, dependent social media user, my childhood is documented in a shoebox of physical photos and a couple of notebooks. My parents treasure a few photo albums and a little set of squiggly VHS tapes, and that is all we have. I grew up with the idea of memory as intimate and owned, significant events and times folded lovingly and tucked away in the home. Today we stagger under daily records served up to us without our permission, by platforms we hardly trust, in formats that mean little to us, of snippets and half-thoughts we never intended to remember. Sometimes it’s even impossible to permanently destroy the things we want to forget, and they remain etched forever on the internet’s endless memory for strangers to find.
In 10 years, will you want your daily weather complaints filed alongside your ancient political causes, your cries for help, your old relationships and your minor headaches – in a theoretical cabinet owned by someone else? How can we reliably access the things we’d like to remember, instead of the mental clutter we’d like to forget? What would a more permanent, more substantial, more valuable “disk image” of ourselves look like online, and what kind of solution could arise to host it?
It’s an interesting technology and culture challenge. Lots of my friends and colleagues use Timehop, an app that well pre-dates On This Day. Timehop can aggregate your history from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Flickr, and even your phone’s own Camera Roll if you opt to let it. A cartoon dinosaur mascot offers users a daily update featuring anything you shared on that day in previous years, and you can also view updates from Timehop friends you’ve elected to connect to. You can even re-share the “memories”, with your choice of decorative frames with captions like “STILL TRUE” – this element of customisation is small but significant. Unlike Facebook, Timehop offers a dedicated, curated space, and its users are basically in control of how and what is shared.
But this ability to control what you see of your past, to manage who sees it and how they can engage with it, and the ability to delete it should you choose to is becoming rare. In many senses, we’ve lost control of our own stories online – the ongoing “right to be forgotten” discussions that began in the European Court of Justice in 2014 act as a partial concession to that point.
Instead of a shoebox of pictures and a diary, your child will grow up depending on interconnected platforms and services. Her entire history, from the first ultrasound picture you share to your network to the day she has a headache to the day she makes a snack, and on like that, will be documented – and could belong to service providers.
Unless we can regain control of our narratives online, unless we can discover a way to value our social content, thisflickering constellation of forgettable “moments” and social media “memories”, is the main way our histories will be kept.
25-01-2016, 10:43 #3
How data centers pay for renewable energy
Data centers are meeting their green energy goals and paying to have new renewable energy supplies delivered into the grid - through RECs and PPAs
20 January 2016
Any data center operator with a public profile now claims that it runs, or plans to run its data centers on 100 percent renewable energy. The reality is that apart fromn those facilities with easy access to hydroelectric sources, data centers are rarely powered directly by renewable energy. Instead they are able to claim to use renewable power, through the use of renewable energy certificates and power purchase agreements.
Renewable energy certificates (RECs), also known as Tradeable Renewable Certificates, are a is a commodity item in the US. Each REC equates to the generation of 1 MWh of power from a qualified renewable resource, usually wind or solar power generation facilities. Not every state offers RECs but those that do make use of a certifying agency that gives each REC a unique identifier. This is to assure that each REC can only be used once. The REC is issued to the supplier and the energy the REC represents is fed into the general power grid, which then makes the REC available for use. Only a select few types of power generation qualify for the creation of RECs. At the moment these are limited to:
- Hydrogen gas powered fuel cells
- Biomass (including biofuels and landfill to gas production)
- Low-impact hydro (not major dams that have an adverse impact on river flow)
Ownership of the REC conveys the right to claim to have made use of renewable energy, without directly creating or consuming it. In fact, there is no requirement for the owner of the REC to be connected in any way to the power generation or the grid to which the power is delivered. It is used completely as an offset for non-renewable power bought from whichever actual grid supplies the REC purchaser. Once an owner of a REC uses the certificate, ether to meet a regulatory requirement, or simply to make the claim that it is using renewable energy as a power source, the REC is retired and has no further use other than being claimed by the owner of the REC as evidence of support for renewable power generation, at the time it was retired.
Without RECs data centers connected to grids that do not provide 100 percent renewable energy sources would be limited to renewable energy claims that match the percentage of renewable power in the grid to which they are attached. For example, Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the US, generates less than 20 percent of its power from renewable sources, but it serves a number of major data centers that claim to be 100 percent renewable energy powered. These customers use RECs as a means to be as green as possible by offsetting the non-renewable resources that provide the bulk of their actual power.
Power purchase agreements (PPA) are the type of contracts that are usually used by utility companies to ensure long term power delivery and to provide funding for the construction of new renewable generating plants. Their use by data center operators is relatively recent as utility level power purchases were not generally executed by retail customers. Not all states allow the execution of PPAs with non-utility purchasers and in most cases such agreements fall under the auspices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission which is tasked with determining meet the regulatory requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2015 for inclusion in a PPA.
In terms of renewable energy production, the data center operator who purchases a PPA from a qualified renewable resource is, once again, not required to run data centers dirctly from that power in order to claim to be operating on renewable energy. It is becoming more common, however, for data center PPA users to have data centers operating on the same grid to which the contracted facility is delivering power, so that their claims of running their data center on 100 percent renewable energy strike closer to the truth, even if 100 percent of the power available from the grid to which the data center is serviced is not renewably sourced.
One version of the PPA that is coming into more common use is the virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA). In this situation the customer who has signed the PPA is obligated to pay for the contracted power at a fixed price. The power plant sells the power into the local market, which is unlikely to be the same market as the data center contracting for the power. If the price is below that guaranteed by the virtual PPA, the data center operator pays the difference between that sale price and the contract price. Should the energy sell for more than the contract price, the data center operator would make a profit from the VPPA contract. Virtual PPAs can be used in locations that do not allow traditional PPA agreements, either due to the lack of deregulation or legality.
Which is right for you?
Large data centers that are run by companies the size of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, or Yahoo, can afford the commitment that a PPA requires. Smaller data centers who wish to advertise a 100 percent renewable energy claim and who are not directly serviced by power providers who offer that as an option would need to purchase RECs to meet that goal.
While there is no “typical” PPA agreement, some major data center operators signed huge PPA commitments in 2015. In Texas, HP signed a 12 year PPA with SunEdison for 112MW of power to run five Texas data centers. While this covers 100 percent of HP’s current need for those data centers it is only a third of the output from the 300MW South Plains II Wind Farm whose basic funding is guaranteed by that PPA.
In keeping with the theme of purchasing power locally, Facebook made a PPA commitment for its Iowa data center for 138MW, enough energy to completely power the facility in Altoona, IA, from the wind farm in Wellsberg, IA. And Microsoft signed a 20 year PPA with the 110MW KeeechiI Wind Project in Texas to power their San Antonio Texas data center. Amazon has signed similar agreements, for example an 80MW PPA for solar power in Accomack, VA and 150 MW for wind in Indiana.
Apple is somewhat close mouthed about how it plans to achieve its promise of 100 percent renewable energy, but has actially built solar and fuel cell power plants adjacent to some of its data center facilities. However, given the intermittent nature of renewable production, Apple is most likely using RECs to achieve the 100 percent number.
Google, meanwhile, has also committed to reaching a 100 percent renewable goal, adding 842 MW of renewable power from wind farms worldwide towards the end of 2015.