Feeds

AOL demos the human-free datacenter

100% lights out facility eliminates the BOFH cost

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

AOL has been operating a trial datacenter that runs without any on-site staff since the start of the month, and reports that the system is resilient and cuts costs.

Dubbed ATC, the datacenter uses off-the-shelf, pre-racked/vendor integrated gear with open source code, is run as a 100 per cent lights out facility (no BOFH patrolling the racks), and was put together in 90 days from the first proposal. AOL’s special sauce is its configuration management system, which the company says can set up and start a virtual machine in eight seconds and set up global server systems in minutes.

“The provisioning systems were built to be universal so that if required we can do the same thing with stand-alone physical boxes or virtual machines. No difference. Same system.” Said Mike Manos, AOL's vice president of technology operations in a blog post.

This system was put to the test during this summer’s East Coast earthquake, a 5.8 magnitude shock in Virginia. “The flood of inquirers to AOL’s servers in the aftermath was handled using the system, adding new virtual machines to handle the steep surge in demand," he wrote.

The timing of the announcement is fortuitous, considering AOL is trying to sell itself and touting its datacenter management as one of the assets it brings to any deal. Reuters reports that COE Tim Armstrong told a meeting of top shareholders that the company could be a good buy for Yahoo! He estimated that the two companies, with a combined audience, elimination of overlaps and AOL’s datacenter prowess, could save $1.5bn.

"As far as Armstrong's desire for an exit, he doesn't want to be doing what he is doing 18 months from now," a source familiar with Armstrong's thinking told Reuters. "He wants to be out. He's an ambitious sort of guy and AOL is such an afterthought. But he would definitely put his hat in the ring to run a combined Yahoo/AOL." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
No biggie: EMC's XtremIO firmware upgrade 'will wipe data'
But it'll have no impact and will be seamless, we're told
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.