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Bring yourself up to speed with our introductory content.

  • Building blocks of converged infrastructures

    The unifying theme of unified computing is vendor lock-in: one vendor for all or most components. But what are those pieces and what are your options? Continue Reading

  • Linux kernel panic

    Linux kernel panic occurs when the operating system discovers a potentially fatal error that affects the Linux kernel. Continue Reading

  • Data center network design moves from tree to leaf

    Leaf-spine designs are pushing out the hierarchical tree data center networking model, thanks to the popularity of Ethernet fabric networks. Continue Reading

  • Reintroducing the RISC processor for data center servers

    Will energy and processing efficiencies in RISC processors be enough to oust x86 chips from servers, or will RISC stay stuck in a niche? Continue Reading

  • Modern processor design means integration, efficiency

    The quest for improved integration, energy efficiency and performance is taking processor designs in new directions. Continue Reading

  • Open Compute Project

    The Open Compute Project is an initiative started by Facebook to share efficient server and data center designs with the general IT industry.Continue Reading

  • Kyoto cooling (Kyoto wheel)

    KyotoCooling is an energy-efficient free cooling system for data centers. Kyoto cooling uses outside air to remove the heat created by computing equipment instead of using mechanical refrigeration.Continue Reading

  • Linux swappiness

    Linux swappiness is the rate at which a Linux platform's kernel moves pages into and out of active memory.Continue Reading

  • carbon usage effectiveness (CUE)

    Carbon usage effectiveness (CUE) is a metric developed by The Green Grid to help organizations measure the amount of carbon used -- or carbon footprint -- in the daily operations of their data centers.Continue Reading

  • multi-core processor

    A multi-core processor is an integrated circuit (IC) to which two or more processors have been attached for enhanced performance, reduced power consumption, and more efficient simultaneous processing of multiple tasks.Continue Reading

  • WUE (water usage effectiveness)

    WUE (water usage effectiveness) is a metric developed by The Green Grid nonprofit consortium to help data centers measure how much water a facility uses for cooling and other building needs.Continue Reading

  • Open Rack

    The Open Rack specification is an open standard for server racks designed to integrate with other parts of Facebook's Open Compute Project (OCP).Continue Reading

  • Open Vault

    Open Vault is an open-source storage specification created by Facebook and the Open Compute Project (OCP).Continue Reading

  • Bloom Energy Server (Bloom box)

    A Bloom Box, officially known as an Bloom Energy Server, is a modular stack of solid oxide fuel cells that can produce electricity.Continue Reading

  • Quiz: New methods for cooling data centers

    Think you know everything about cooling data centers? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz on modern cooling techniques.Continue Reading

  • kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)

    Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a free, open source virtualization architecture for Linux distributions.Continue Reading

  • Quiz: The ins and outs of data center colocation services

    Data center colocation services allow businesses to expand computing power without a new building. This quiz will test your colocation knowledge.Continue Reading

  • How much do you know about 'big data' infrastructure?

    Take this quiz to see if your data center's 'big data' infrastructure will hold up.Continue Reading

  • computer room air handler (CRAH)

    A computer room air handler (CRAH) is a device used frequently in data centers to deal with the heat produced by equipment.Continue Reading

  • out-of-order execution (OoOE)

    Out-of-order execution (OoOE) is an approach to processing that allows instructions for high-performance microprocessors to begin execution as soon as their operands are ready.Continue Reading

  • Open Blueprint

    Open Blueprint is IBM's strategic view of the network computing services and the relationship between these services.Continue Reading

  • Basic Assembler Language (BAL)

    BAL (Basic Assembler Language) is a version of IBM's assembler language (sometimes called assembly language) for its System/360 and System/370 mainframe operating system.Continue Reading

  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulation (WEEE)

    Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulation (WEEE) is a directive in the European Union that designates safe and responsible collection, recycling and recovery procedures for all types of electronic waste. Continue Reading

  • mechanical refrigeration

    Mechanical refrigeration, often referred to simply as refrigeration, is a process by which heat is removed from a location using a man-made heat-exchange system.Continue Reading

  • single point of failure (SPOF)

    A single point of failure (SPOF) is a potential risk posed by a flaw in the design, implementation or configuration of a circuit or system in which one fault or malfunction causes an entire system to stop operating.Continue Reading

  • Hot spot/cold spot

    A hot spot/cold spot is an undesirable tightly-focused local temperature variation which often occurs when data center equipment is improperly cooled.Continue Reading

  • data center resiliency

    Data center resiliency is the ability of a server, network, storage system, or an entire data center, to continue operating even when there has been an equipment failure, power outage or other disruption.Continue Reading

  • data center evaporative cooling (swamp cooling)

    Evaporative cooling, also known as swamp cooling, is a strategy for cooling air that takes advantage of the drop in temperature that occurs when water that's exposed to moving air begins to change to gas. You've probably experienced the effects of ...Continue Reading

  • ARM server

    An advanced RISC machine (ARM) server is an enterprise-class computer server that employs a large array of ARM processors rather than a complement of x86-class processors.Continue Reading

  • open data center

    An open data center is an IT facility that employs a clearly defined and standardized set of hardware and software products designed to make the data center interoperable with other IT facilities.Continue Reading

  • rsync

    Rsync is a free software utility for Unix- and Linux-like systems that copies files and directories from one host to another. Rsync is available on most Linux distributions by default.Continue Reading

  • cow power (biogas)

    Cow power is a term for the conversion of manure to usable energy. The energy produced can supplement the electric power offered by a utility or power a facility, such as a factory or a data center.Continue Reading

  • Virtualization and management classroom 201 quiz

    This brief quiz on server virtualization tests your knowledge of virtualization platforms, management tools and virtualized infrastructure performance.Continue Reading

  • Data center design and infrastructure classroom 101 quiz

    This brief quiz on data center design and infrastructure tests your knowledge of server virtualization technology, virtualization deployment and hardware considerations for a virtual environment.Continue Reading

  • abend (abnormal end)

    An abend (a combining of two words, abnormal end, when operator messages were as short as possible) is an abnormal, rather than planned, end or termination of a computer program because of some problem with how it is running.Continue Reading

  • Mainframe utilities and terminology guide

    This guide and glossary details the IBM mainframe utilities and other mainframe technologies to further best practices in mainframe management.Continue Reading

  • green computing

    Green computing is the use of computers and related resources in an environmentally responsible manner. This involves the implementation of energy-efficient central processing units (CPUs), servers and peripherals as well as proper disposal of ...Continue Reading

  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

    LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an ecology-oriented building certification program run under the auspices of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • COTS, MOTS, GOTS, and NOTS

    COTS, MOTS, GOTS, and NOTS are abbreviations that describe pre-packaged software or hardware purchase alternatives.Continue Reading

  • Energy Star

    Energy Star is a government-backed labeling program that helps people and organizations save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by identifying factories, office equipment, home appliances and electronics that have superior energy efficiency. ...Continue Reading

  • Quiz: Data center energy efficiency trends

    Take this quiz on data center energy efficiency, and find out how much you know about cutting costs and saving power at your company.Continue Reading

  • green data center

    A green data center is a repository for the storage, management, and dissemination of data in which the mechanical, lighting, electrical and computer systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • Yellowdog Updater, Modified (YUM)

    Yellowdog Update, Modified (YUM) is a program that manages installation, updates and removal for Red Hat package manager (RPM) systems. YUM allows the user to update groups of machines without having to update each RPM separately.Continue Reading

  • Fedora

    Fedora is a popular open source Linux-based operating system.Continue Reading

  • fuel cell

    A fuel cell is an electrochemical cell that derives its energy from combustible substances such as hydrogen, methane, propane, methanol, diesel fuel or even gasoline... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • Categories of twisted pair cabling systems

    ANSI/EIA (American National Standards Institute/Electronic Industries Association) Standard 568 is one of several standards that specify "categories" (the singular is commonly referred to as "CAT") of twisted pair cabling systems, such as wires, ...Continue Reading

  • capacity on demand (COD)

    Capacity on demand (COD) is a purchasing option that allows companies to receive equipment with more computer processing, storage, or other capacity than the company needs at the time of purchase, and have that extra capacity remain unused and ...Continue Reading

  • motherboard tattoo

    A motherboard tattoo is a unique code that can be written in the basic input/output system (BIOS) of a computer to ensure that system restore or diagnostic compact discs (CDs) will work only on the machine or line of machines with which the CDs are ...Continue Reading

  • hot/cold aisle

    Hot aisle/cold aisle is a layout design for server racks and other computing equipment in a data center. The goal of a hot aisle/cold aisle configuration is to conserve energy and lower cooling costs by managing air flow.Continue Reading

  • Ubuntu

    Ubuntu (pronounced oo-BOON-too) is an open source Debian-based Linux distribution. Sponsored by Canonical Ltd., Ubuntu is considered a good distribution for beginners. The operating system is intended primarily for personal computers (PCs) but can ...Continue Reading

  • power usage effectiveness (PUE)

    Power usage effectiveness (PUE) is a metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a data center. PUE is determined by dividing the amount of power entering a data center by the power used to run the computer infrastructure within it. (Continued...Continue Reading

  • server sprawl

    Server sprawl is a situation in which multiple, under-utilized servers take up more space and consume more resources than can be justified by their workload.Continue Reading

  • S/390

    S/390 is IBM's large server (or mainframe) line of computer systems, which are marketed to the world's Fortune 1000 and many mid-size companies as a "tried-and-true" system with a history that stretches back to the System/360 of the early 1960s.Continue Reading

  • P/390

    The P/390 is basically an IBM mainframe system adapted to run on a personal computer.Continue Reading

  • OS/390

    OS/390 is the IBM operating system most commonly installed on its S/390 line of mainframe server.Continue Reading

  • GNU Linux

    The GNU Linux project was created for the development of a Unix-like operating system that comes with source code that can be copied, modified, and redistributed... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • gzip (GNU zip)

    Gzip (GNU zip) is a free and open source algorithm for file compression. The software is overseen by the GNU project.... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • Heartbeat

    Heartbeat is a program that runs specialized scripts automatically whenever a system is initialized or rebooted. Originally designed for two-node Linux-based clusters, Heartbeat is extensible to larger configurations... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • DRBD (Distributed Replicated Block Device)

    DRBD (Distributed Replicated Block Device) is a Linux-based software component that facilitates the replacement of shared storage systems by networked mirroring. DRBD makes it possible to maintain consistency of data among multiple systems in a ...Continue Reading

  • economizer

    An economizer is a mechanical device used to reduce energy consumption. Economizers recycle energy produced within a system or leverage environmental temperature differences to achieve efficiency improvements. (Continued...)Continue Reading

  • intelligent power management (IPM)

    Intelligent Power Management (IPM) is a combination of hardware and software that optimizes the distribution and use of electrical power in computer systems and data centers. While the installation of IPM involves up-front cost and ongoing ...Continue Reading

  • IBM Roadrunner

    Roadrunner is the fastest supercomputer in the world, twice as fast as Blue Gene and six times as fast as any of the other current supercomputers. IBM developed Roadrunner for the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (Continued...)Continue Reading

  • zinc whiskers

    Zinc whiskers are tiny growths of elemental zinc that form on the surfaces of objects that are electroplated, or galvanized, with zinc.Continue Reading

  • tin whiskers

    Tin whiskers are individual crystals of tin that grow spontaneously from a tinned surface, usually as a result of stress of some sort... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • computer room air conditioning unit (CRAC)

    A computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit is a device that monitors and maintains the temperature, air distribution and humidity in a network room or data center. CRAC units are replacing air-conditioning units that were used in the past to cool ...Continue Reading

  • water cooling

    In computers, water cooling is a method used to lower the temperatures of computer processors, and sometimes other components such as graphics cards, using water rather than air as the cooling medium. (Continued...)Continue Reading

  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)

    HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.Continue Reading

  • Calibrated Vectored Cooling (CVC)

    Calibrated Vectored Cooling (CVC) is an air-cooling technology developed by IBM for server systems with high component density.Continue Reading

  • data center chiller

    A data center chiller is a cooling system used in a data center to remove heat from one element and deposit it into another element. Chillers are used by industrial facilities to cool the water used in their heating, ventilation and air-conditioning...Continue Reading

  • CADE (Corporate Average Data center Efficiency)

    CADE (Corporate Average Data center Efficiency) is a metric used to rate the overall energy efficiency of an organization's data centers. CADE was introduced in a joint Uptime Institute and McKinsey report that proposed the metric as a single key ...Continue Reading

  • GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL)

    The GNU General Public License, often shortened to GNU GPL (or simply GPL), lists terms and conditions for copying, modifying and distributing free software.Continue Reading

  • U (measurement)

    A U is a standard unit of measure for designating the height in computer enclosures and rack cabinets.Continue Reading

  • data center services

    Data center services is a collective term for the supporting components necessary for the proper operation of a repository for storage, management and dissemination of data organized around a body of knowledge or pertaining to an enterprise... (...Continue Reading

  • Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020

    The Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 is a switch designed for the Hewlett-Packard (HP) BladeSystem c-Class of blade servers... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is a distribution of the Linux operating system developed for the business market... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • IMS (Information Management System)

    IMS (Information Management System) is a database and transaction management system that was first introduced by IBM in 1968. Since then, IMS has gone through many changes in adapting to new programming tools and environments.Continue Reading

  • utility computing

    Utility computing is a service provisioning model in which a service provider makes computing resources and infrastructure management available to the customer as needed, and charges them for specific usage rather than a flat rate.Continue Reading

  • Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS Directive)

    The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive is a set of criteria formulated by the European Union (EU) to regulate the use of toxic materials in electrical and electronic devices, systems, and toys... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • event forwarding

    Event forwarding is the transmission of information to a centralized computer concerning events that take place on remote computers or servers... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • Remote Job Entry (RJE)

    Remote Job Entry (RJE) is a facility that allows remote computer users to submit a job (the running of a specific program or group of programs) to a centrally-located IBM mainframe computer.Continue Reading

  • lights-out management (LOM)

    Lights-out management (LOM) is the ability for a system administrator to monitor and manage servers by remote control.Continue Reading

  • compaction

    In a data center, compaction is the reduction or consolidation of hardware to make better use of physical floor space.Continue Reading

  • server consolidation

    Server consolidation is an approach to the efficient usage of computer server resources in order to reduce the total number of servers or server locations that an organization requires.Continue Reading

  • Electric plugs for each country

    Electrical plugs and voltages for different countries around the world.Continue Reading

  • epoch

    In a computing context, an epoch is the date and time relative to which a computer's clock and timestamp values are determined.Continue Reading

  • SMP (symmetric multiprocessing)

    SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) is the processing of programs by multiple processors that share a common operating system and memory.Continue Reading

  • sysplex and Parallel Sysplex

    A sysplex is IBM's systems complex (the word sysplex comes from the first part of the word system and the last part of the word complex), introduced in 1990 as a platform for the MVS/ESA operating system for IBM mainframe servers.Continue Reading

  • supervisor call (SVC)

    In computers, especially IBM mainframes, a supervisor call (SVC) is a processor instruction that directs the processor to pass control of the computer to the operating system's supervisor program.Continue Reading

  • hard drive overwriter

    In e-cycling, a hard drive overwriter is a program or utility that repeatedly overwrites the data on a computer's hard drive with gibberish.Continue Reading

  • e-waste

    E-waste is any refuse created by discarded electronic devices and components as well as substances involved in their manufacture or use.Continue Reading

  • e-cycling

    E-cycling is the practice of reusing, or distributing for reuse, electronic equipment and components rather than discarding them at the end of their life cycle.Continue Reading

  • field-replaceable unit (FRU)

    In electronic hardware, particularly computer systems, a field-replaceable unit (FRU) is a circuit board or part that can be quickly and easily removed and replaced by the user or by a technician without having to send the entire product or system ...Continue Reading

  • 64-bit processor

    A 64-bit processor is a microprocessor with a word size of 64 bits, a requirement for memory and data intensive applications such as computer-aided design (CAD) applications, database management systems, technical and scientific applications, and ...Continue Reading

  • crossbar latch

    A crossbar latch, also called a molecular crossbar latch, is a nanoscale device with properties similar to those of a conventional silicon transistor, but physically much smaller, having a diameter of approximately 2 nanometers (nm, where 1 nm = 10-...Continue Reading

  • pizza box server

    The term "pizza box server" refers to the shape of a computer server enclosed in a rectangular and horizontally-arranged chassis and often installed in a rack with similar servers.Continue Reading

  • Data center design and infrastructure final exam

    This quiz tests knowledge about data center design, site selection, power and cooling and other material related to the data center's physical infrastructure.Continue Reading

  • Data center facilities all-in-one-guide: Final exam answers

    Here are the answers to the SearchDataCenter.com's all-in-one-guide on data center facilities.Continue Reading

  • Puppy Linux

    Puppy Linux is a compact version of Linux, an operating system (OS) that provides computer users with a free or low-cost alternative to Unix. Puppy Linux is one of several similar OSs, all of which together make up a group called skinny Linux... (...Continue Reading

  • Uptime Institute, Inc.

    The Uptime Institute, Inc. is a consortium of companies devoted to maximizing efficiency and uptime in data centers and IT (information technology) organizations... (Continued)Continue Reading

  • kernel panic

    A kernel panic is a computer error from which the operating system (OS) cannot quickly or easily recover. The term applies primarily to Unix-based systems and to Mac OS X... (Continued)Continue Reading

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