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Tech Bisnow
   
January 12, 2012
 
 
Data Center Mania

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Northern VA data centers continue to burn it up. (Literally—that's why they have cooling systems.) We've got an event on the subject coming up (Feb. 3), so we asked a few of our expert panelists for the latest trends in this hot sector.
 
Jim Flyzik
Data center consolidation isn't as easy as it sounds. Former Treasury Department CIO (and current radio show host) Jim Flyzik tells us budget issues could be problematic for the government's plan to close 800 data centers. “If an agency wants to shrink its total number of centers, it's unlikely it has an existing center to accommodate the additional capacity,” he says. “That requires investing money in something that can.” Potential solution: Agencies acquiring data center management services from the private sector, just like they lease office space.
 
Terremark's Ben Stewart
There's also the question of what it takes to run a data center. Energy efficiency is the name of the game for operators, says Terremark's Ben Stewart. Take a look at the bill if you're wondering why. One Terremark-owned center in Miami costs $1.1M per month to power, he tells us, and new construction can run up to $1,500/sq. ft. Even a slight efficiency increase can equal big savings. How he's saving on cash: reduced shaft speeds for motors, containment chambers for hot air, and using cold air (instead of water) to cool centers. (The hard part is getting the cold air to stay in the FedEx boxes when it's shipped in from the Arctic.)
 
Data center boom
Our other all-star panelists: DuPont Fabros Technology CEO Hossein Fateh, Himes Associates founder Paul Himes, DH Capital's Marty Friedman, Loudoun County's Buddy Rizer, HITT's Ross Rebraca, DBT-DATA founder David Tolson, Digital Realty Trust's Scott Morrow, and RagingWire's Daniel Golding. Join us on Feb. 3. Sign up now!

Bisnow

Iris Scans at the Border

 
Accenture US-VISIT lead Tom Greiner
Accenture has been leading the tech charge at US-VISIT since 2004. And the Reston, VA.-based firm was just asked by DHS to advance the immigration and border management system even further under a 13-month, $71M contract. Accenture US-VISIT lead Tom Greiner says the company, which has about 300 people on the project, will work on a pilot biometrics program, capturing facial images and irises from willing participants crossing an Arizona border. (Right now US-VISIT only captures fingerprints.) The company will also develop a solution to provide primary CBP agents information on whether a person’s identity is on the FBI watch list.
Lee Boyd Malvo
US-VISIT already houses over 600M fingerprints and 130M unique identities. It helps DHS daily identify 2,500 illegal immigrants, 50 wanted felons, five of whom are wanted for murder, says Tom. It helped DC area police find the snipers who terrorized the region for several months in 2002 by linking a fingerprint left at one of the shootings to Jamaican Lee Boyd Malvo. It also identified the 20th 9/11 hijacker who was flagged trying to enter the US. But Tom says the biometrics field is just at the cusp of what it can do. Faces will be identified a quarter of a mile away and irises will be captured “on the move” as someone approaches the camera.
US-VISIT
Tom also says biometrics will be a game changer in social programs like the unique ID effort in India. Accenture recently got involved by providing the software and supporting technical services needed to capture fingerprints of all citizens in India, including 400M who traditionally have little to no ID. Their lack of portable “identity” prevents them from directly receiving much needed aid from their government if they moved outside the village where they were known. The database will quickly be the largest biometric database in the world as it captures 1M citizen fingerprints and irises a day.
We long for a day when our local barista can scan our iris from two blocks away and has our coffee waiting for us by the time we sidle up to the counter. What are your biometric dreams? Share them with tech editor Tania Anderson.
 
 
 
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