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Data Storage The Internet

Amazon's Cloud Data Center To Follow Google To Oregon 84

Posted by timothy
from the pretty-state dept.
1sockchuck writes "All your online data doesn't really live in a big, fluffy cloud. It resides in servers and data centers. That's why Amazon.com is quietly building a large data center complex in Oregon along the Columbia River, not far from Google's secret data lair in The Dalles. Amazon Web Services started as a way to monetize excess data center capacity for its retail operation, but has grown to the point where it requires dedicated infrastructure. Amazon recently said that its S3 cloud storage service is hosting 29 billion objects."
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Amazon's Cloud Data Center To Follow Google To Oregon

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  • by CdBee (742846) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @08:33PM (#25690923)
    .. my files are getting to see parts of the world I've never even been to, via Jungledisk. Anyway, as an S3 customer, the more data centres they have, the better.

    On an Ecological level I hope electricity in Oregon is mainly nuclear, wind or Hydro....
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      IIRC, its hydro. Cheap "green" electricity why its becoming prime data center territory.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday November 08, 2008 @11:08PM (#25691731) Journal
        What I don't get is if it is power they want,why they don't come to AR. We got Nuclear power(so it's cheap) and we have a TON of abandoned Titan 2 missile silos that would be kick ass for data centers. They are deep enough underground that the cooling bills would be a whole lot cheaper,they would probably get a huge break on their insurance because nobody is going to get through those blast doors without permission,and they have been selling the things so cheap that some folks are actually turning them into houses. Plus I'm sure they have plenty of power and communication lines already run to hook them into the defense grid,and here in AR they are happy to give out huge tax breaks for anyone willing to bring their business here. It seems to me like it would be an easy way to save money on a data center.
        • missile silo! a /. nurd's ultimate bachelor pad?

        • by Bandman (86149)

          That's interesting. I suppose that you could make it a lot cheaper if you used the right kind of cooling...I just wonder what the local effects would be if you pumped the entire datacenter's heat output into the surrounding rocks. I wonder if they'd be able to keep up, or if their ambient temperature would end up being much higher.

          Interesting idea, I just wouldn't want to experiment with a datacenter. I do dig the idea of housing computers in a missile silo, though. You've just got to watch out for Deep Cro [wikia.com]

          • If there were enough of a temperature differential you could use the difference itself to power the data centre, or a substantial part of it. You've already got a deep heat sink for cooling plus that hot Arizona air in the summer. There are large commercial Stirling cycle cogeneration engines available that might suddenly make economic sense, given that the expensive capital outlay of digging the rather large hole in the ground such a thing would require is already spent. I would suspect that the surroun
            • by hairyfeet (841228)
              Uuuuuh, AR is Arkansas. AZ is Arizona. But here in AR the summers have pretty much two stages: Hot and "Oh My God I'm going to melt out here!" so your theory would still hold. Also the winter is quite mild,with mostly rain instead of snowfall. But my friend said even during the hottest days of summer the silos remained in the low '60s due to the depth and rock acting as a heat shield. Of course the rain would help to cool the rock,thus making it a better heatsink,and IIRC the silos already had moisture remo
        • Better beer in Oregon?

    • by Snowblindeye (1085701) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @08:47PM (#25691005)

      .On an Ecological level I hope electricity in Oregon is mainly nuclear, wind or Hydro....

      Yes, Hydro. Thats the main reason these companies are moving their data centers to Oregon: The availability of cheap and plentiful hydro power.

      Lots of dark fiber that is well connected, as well as tax breaks, also help.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        The availability of cheap and plentiful hydro power.

        Lots of dark fiber that is well connected, as well as tax breaks, also help.

        There are a bunch of States with good connections and cheap power.
        It's almost always the tax breaks that make or break a company's decision to build in a specific place.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by QuantumRiff (120817)

          Oregon happens to have a very gentle sloping shelf at the ocean. Oregon also doesn't have a large amount of shipping traffic, with their nasty anchors. This makes it ideal to run an underwater fiber across the pacific. There are a ton of fibers going across the Pacific ocean from the state. (it is really strange to see a multi-gigabit fiber landing in a small ocean side town where they have difficulty getting anything but dial-up connections!) Oregon also has huge power lines, running right to the sites

      • by feyhunde (700477)
        Something to ad for people who are unfamiliar with this area, there are 15 generating dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Most of the power for Oregon and Washington is generated off these. There's some nuclear, gas and wind as well. We buy and sell power as needed to California and the SW.

        However the upper Columbia watershed has lost a lot of jobs due to the Aluminum industry collapsing in part due to power losses a few years ago. Low water combined with high temps and high demand in California redir

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Fat Cow (13247)

      mainly hydro, some natural gas - http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/st_profiles/oregon.pdf [doe.gov]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300)

      Which is one of the advantages of remote data storage. If you keep your backups and have someone else far away keeping you data too. Then if something big happens Say say a Hurricane your data is still safe. Unlike someone who may have an excellent backup plan, however they get hit with a big disaster and a complete wipe out of their data is possible. The cost of say $1,000,000 of hardware is nothing compared to say a couple of terabytes of data.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lysergic.acid (845423)

        yea, data redundancy and backups are useless if you don't use off-site data protection for disaster recovery. even small businesses can greatly benefit from geographical redundancy.

        even though the label i work at is based in California, we still took a major hit from Hurricane Katrina because the masters for several albums in our back catalog were kept at a recording studio that got flooded. after that happened, my boss starting holding onto copies of the masters himself here at the office and also backing

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mcrbids (148650)

          As a hosted application provider, we provide no less than THREE separate geographical locations for DR of the data: the redundant, primary hosting cluster, a smaller, backup hosting cluster, and a non-hosted "if it gets this bad it's really, really bad" backup. Offsite backups happen automatically every night, so at any point, you'll never lose more than 24 hours worth of data. We've always offered this level of redundancy.

          In a few months, we'll bring this 24 hour maximum latency down to less than 5 minutes

          • by Bandman (86149)

            It sounds like your plan is similar to mine, with the exception of the deltas for time. We're going to be getting 10Mb between our primary and secondary, as opposed to the 1.5Mb T1 we have right now, but they could be on the same network and it would still take me half an hour to do an rsync because it's got to index the files.

            I'm currently keeping 1.3 million files (~450GB) in sync over that T1. Fortunately, there are usually only a few dozen GB a day, but sometimes there are more. It's madness, but we're

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Dalles is just upstream from bonneville dam. We have heaps of wind power and hydro. Oregon / Washington kicks ass for tech companies wanting to suck up energy.

    • The a great deal of Oregon's electricity is generated by the Columbia River dams. While massive hydro power generation is "greener" than, say, coal power, it's also extraordinarily destructive to the environment upriver from the dams.

      Hydro power is also controversial because dams tend to reduce fish runs and, under Oregon law, native tribes are guaranteed the right to fish. This has become as real point of contention, as environmental activists and the tribes have maintained that a healthy river is a prereq

    • .. my files are getting to see parts of the world I've never even been to, via Jungledisk. Anyway, as an S3 customer, the more data centres they have, the better. On an Ecological level I hope electricity in Oregon is mainly nuclear, wind or Hydro....

      From the article:

      The Columbia River basin has large resources of hydro electricity generated from dams along the river. This cheap, clean power was a factor in Googleâ(TM)s decision to build a huge data center in The Dalles, Oregon and has fueled the tranformation of Quincy, Washington from a small farming town into a data center hub with new facilities from Microsoft and Yahoo.

  • If you go to the Google location in GOOGLE MAPS [google.ca] there is nothing to see.

    As if.

    Because if you go to the same location in mapquest, and turn on aerial view [mapquest.com] you see the buildings in all their glory.

    And if you go to the Google Maps version and turn on Street View, you can see the buildings in living colour. Ground Level.

    So, basically, Google's being stupidly secretive, as you can use their own tools against them.

    Dur.

    RS

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tubal-Cain (1289912)
      Uh, I can see the buildings just fine in google maps (maps.google.com, not that maps.google.ca address you gave.
      • Oddly going from the Google.ca link or typing in maps.google.com and searching "The Dalles, OR" gets me to the same graphic. Either way, Google's is more outdated.

        It appears to be a State of Oregon-sourced picture via Google, while MapQuest seems to source their imagery for the area from a company marked i-cubed.

        They're definitely differently sourced throughout Oregon, this can be spot checked (for example) at NW 9th Ave and NW Naito Pkwy in Portland. Depending on the zoom level MapQuest's photos are much

    • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @08:52PM (#25691043) Homepage
      If by "stupidly secretive" you mean "thrifty and not buying all the latest aerial imagery all the time"...
      • by symbolset (646467)

        Because google.ca has to pay a lot of money to get those images from google.com?

        I'm sorry. You had me for a minute and then you lost me.

        • by FooAtWFU (699187)
          Have to pay a lot of money? Maybe. Have you seen the kind of garbage that comes up when you're dealing with licensing stuff? And these are foreign affiliates, to boot, so there's an extra layer of dreck to work through.

          I can't see any reason that they would care about images of their places. And if they really DID care, for some freakish reason, they're doing a poor job of keeping their secrets secret. I just don't see the conspiracy.

    • Maps areial views around here are about 10 years old, Street View is clearly newer than that where it exists. Is it censorship or just outdated images taken before the building was built?
  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday November 08, 2008 @09:08PM (#25691139)

    All your online data doesn't really live in a big, fluffy cloud.

    What? Now he tells me.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      All your online data doesn't really live in a big, fluffy cloud.

      What? Now he tells me.

      What next? No Heaven? No Easter Bunny? No Three Musketeers bars?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Damn - now I've got Little Fluffy Clouds [youtube.com] buzzing round my tiny brain.

      Haven't listened to that track in years.

      Still, at least I'll go to sleep in a good frame of mind...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by operagost (62405)
      It resides in tubes.
      • Well, if you were to use some suitably clever/malicious routing tricks, you might actually be able to use the internet as delay line memory...

        (Even then, of course, you wouldn't really be "in the cloud" you'd be essentially storing your data in other people's routers; but the image isn't nearly as funny that way.)
    • by MarkRose (820682)

      All your online data doesn't really live in a big, fluffy cloud.

      What? Now he tells me.

      Actually, your data is in an even better place. When they allocated your space, the big fluffy cloud was full, so your data is on little puffy bunny tails.

  • If I had a mobile home, or if I lived on a boat, I would be really tempted just to follow the data centers and live wherever there's a major one. Seems like the Columbia river would be nice to have next door for the power-generation potential, also. Especially coming from someplace like California, where we have blackouts all the time. If the economy *is* going down the tubes, then now may be just the time to pick a strategic home base.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      Yeah except they seem not to remember the flood of 1947 that wiped out the Portland/Vancouver suburb of Vanport. Plus, right there next to active volcanoes... Make you wonder why they didn't build it inn the crated or Mt. St Helens. Or at least up next to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. At least there you'd get the Lodge from The Shining to look at as you wander the dark corridors of the creepy volcano-dwelling data center.
      • Yeah except they seem not to remember the flood of 1947 that wiped out the Portland/Vancouver suburb of Vanport. Plus, right there next to active volcanoes... Make you wonder why they didn't build it inn the crated or Mt. St Helens. Or at least up next to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. At least there you'd get the Lodge from The Shining to look at as you wander the dark corridors of the creepy volcano-dwelling data center.

        Well, hopefully they have good insurance.

    • Real estate (Score:3, Insightful)

      by symbolset (646467)

      Compared to California [century21.com] property is also cheap [windermere.com] for now. If you want to recruit workers who know what they're doing and pay them under $150k, that's a plus.

    • Ah the bandwagon approach. That usually works out of everyone.

    • by istartedi (132515)

      Really? The entire area is near a subduction zone capable of producing earthquakes similar to the Good Friday quake that hit Alaska in 1964. These "megathrust" quakes tend to be MORE severe than the strike-slip quakes that occur in California. The last such quake in this area is thought to have occured circa 1700, IIRC, and caused a tsunami that was large enough to kill people in Japan after crossing the Pacific. The same plate interaction is also responsible for volcanism in that area. I don't know ab

    • by Joe Tie. (567096)
      I used to live pretty close to a googleplex, and had power failures fairly often. At least once every two months or so.
  • of course, objects (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drfireman (101623) <<dan> <at> <kimberg.com>> on Saturday November 08, 2008 @09:57PM (#25691395) Homepage

    Can someone explain what an "object" is?

  • Can anyone quantify and define an S3 object? How is that different than a file? Wouldn't it be useful to report the amount of storage used... I donut care that two users have 2 billion objects of 4 different image views of their online catalog :P
    • by perlchild (582235)

      It allows them to report a hello world at the same level as each link in a link-chained list of xml streams each at 200k... in other words, reporting them in bytes, would be much less impressive

  • My prediction (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aztektum (170569) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @10:07PM (#25691443)

    Like Google they will be spending their power savings $$ advertising on Craigslist's Portland job ads page [craigslist.org]. The Dalle's is not exactly flush with computer savvy talent.

    • Were you raised there? Because I was, and indeed, the place IS flush with computer savvy talent..that is, unless every high school kid between when I was in high school and now, has moved off to bigger and better things. (which I know is not true)
  • datacentreknowledge.com is a goddamn scam. They always manage to make front page at Slashdot by regurgitating somebody's press release. Their summaries are incomplete and poorly summarised. Most of their articles link to other shitty articles in order to boost advertising revenue.

    They add. No. Value. Whatsoever. Please stop linking to them, Slashdot.

    • Their summaries are incomplete and poorly summarised. Most of their articles link to other shitty articles in order to boost advertising revenue.

      Sounds perfect for slashdot!

  • To Oregon? (Score:5, Funny)

    by dissy (172727) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:39AM (#25693329)

    Amazon's Cloud Data Center to Follow Google to Oregon

    Amazon has died of dysentery.

  • As an Oregon resident, I gotta say: sweet! This is good news for Oregon's economy (which tends to lag behind the nation as a whole). I knew a contractor who interviewed at Google's Oregon data center. It sounded like a decent job (Linux technician work), only catch was the insane commute (Dalles, Oregon... which is a good hour-long drive or worse from Portland, so you'd basically have to move to that small town).

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