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Microsoft Wants To Nix Data Center Backup Generators 141

Posted by timothy
from the more-and-bigger-flywheels dept.
1sockchuck writes "Data centers operators often tout their diesel backup generators as a symbol of their reliability. So why does Microsoft want to get rid of them? Microsoft says diesel generators are 'inefficient and costly' and is looking at alternatives to supply emergency backup power for its server farms, including fuel cells powered by natural gas. One possible option is the 'Bloom box,' which both Apple and eBay are using in their data centers (albeit with biogas as the primary fuel). Bloom is positioning its fuel cells as a way to forego expensive UPS units and generators, using the Bloom box for primary power and the utility grid for backup. It's a pitch that benefits from the current low price of natural gas." (Microsoft would like to stop using so much water, too.)
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Microsoft Wants To Nix Data Center Backup Generators

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  • Not the real prob (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Monday September 17, 2012 @04:28PM (#41366879)

    Microsoft says diesel generators are 'inefficient and costly'

    The real prob, assuming you live outside 3rd world areas, is the local electric power co is more reliable than transfer switches and generators.

    Its legendary in the telco biz how many outages faulty transfer switches and generator testing "accidents" cause.

    Local power causes many fewer outages, but the PR of "we're down because of no generator" "competitors have gens" means we have to lower our quality of service by installing generators, which is too bad. The customers are so dumb they'd rather have 10 hours of outage per decade due to x-fer switch issues than 1 hour of outage per decade due to power failures.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Monday September 17, 2012 @04:35PM (#41366963) Homepage Journal

    I hear there's this great new energy device called an E-Cat [ecat.com] that's just coming into the market!

    It was covered by Slashdot [slashdot.org] when the first demo plant went online.

    It's now a year later, and the company is willing to sell units to anyone. Check here [e-catworld.com] for details! Or this great WIkipedia article [wikipedia.org].

    It sounds like a perfect high-tech replacement for old-style backup generators!

    (For those of you who can only read English the way a compiler reads code: yes, I'm being sarcastic.)

  • Re:If it ain't broke (Score:4, Interesting)

    by one_who_uses_unix (68992) <glen.wiley@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday September 17, 2012 @04:56PM (#41367247) Homepage

    Our home standby generator runs itself for 20 minutes every 7 days - just a low end 15kW model. It doesn't provide any metrics via remote (that requires add-in modules from Generac).

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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