Sunday, January 3, 2010

Predictions for 2010 Political/Technology

Four Political/Technology Predictions for 2010
Steve Rosenbaum
Founder and CEO,

As we enter 2010, the impact that government is going to have on technology starts to come into focus. Two unlikely allies are driving one of the most significant changes in the way the public engages in public policy: Barack Obama and Michael Bloomberg.

Prediction #1: The Obama administration's Year Two initiatives will increasingly focus on digital technology and broadband.

Obama, as the first president of either party to have a computer on his desk in the Oval Office, has been driving hard to put government data in the public sphere. The first Federal CTO, Aneesh Chopra, has been pushing government agencies to open their data streams to developers and the general public.

The impact of shifting from paper to bits is likely to expose some uncomfortable truth's about the effectiveness of government, and the way that Federal dollars are allocated. Already an eighteen million dollar effort to share the positive impact of the government recovery efforts,, was shown to be full of errors and false data as the public got to take a peek at how government sausages are made. But it doesn't appear that early missteps have discouraged the data transparency efforts.

Prediction #2: Government Data Transparency will open new private/public sector opportunities in New York in 2010.

Meanwhile, on the heals of the success of New York's 311, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is zooming ahead to put city data in the hands of developers. The Mayor launched the NYC BigApps Competition, a contest for software developers and members of the public to create web or mobile applications using city data. The city opened 170 data sets to allow developers to build applications that will serve residents, visitors, businesses, and the public sector.

Already NYC Big Apps is turning up new ways to parse and present NYC data:

Apps like Make My Day expose NYC Free events.
Finding a school in New York is now easier with city school data presented like this.
And dog owners have access to city dog data (yes, there is dog data!) with the Big App nominee known as Hey Walkies.

Now, not all of the apps may be what the Mayor initially anticipated. For example, NYC Broken Meters helps drivers beat the city's revenue-generating parking meters by giving drivers GPS coordinates on a Google Map of all broken meters. Sweet. The folks at Gothamist crowed: "Of all the NYC Big Apps contenders, we think the NYC Broken Meters will be the most used and abused. The app uses the city's own data to locate broken meters, allowing users to score free parking!"

You can see all the applications, and vote for your favorite here.

Predication #3 Net neutrality will move to center stage

While government transparency is a good thing, and a game changer, that's not the only 2010 shift that's likely to impact the year ahead. Julius Genachowski is the newly confirmed FCC chairmen. And Genachowski is focused on a critical piece of the future of the web: openness.

Through the site Open Internet, Genachowski is looking hard at the Internet as a critical piece of both communications policy and democracy. And unlike other FCC chairs, Genachowski arrives in the gig as a carefully considered choice of a President who is an advocate of key elements of the web economy. So rather than protect fiefdoms, it's likely the FCC will lean hard toward open access -- and keep a close eye on any pricing schemes that choke bandwidth.

Prediction #4: FTC and FCC will let Comcast/NBC deal breeze through review process, M&A to pick up in 2010.

The corollary to this is that I'd put money down that the NBC/Comcast deal with sail through approvals at both the FTC and FCC. Why? Because it's hard to imagine who would oppose it, after all the other competitors are all looking at big deals of their own in the next 12 to 24 months -- so throwing up a roadblock on this deal won't help their cause. And for the FCC, having Comcast on both the pipe and the content side of the world makes it far harder for Comcast to look to restrict access to other content makers to their network.

Government is going digital, and 2010 will be a year where the bandwidth, software, and display technology provide for the first time a widely distributed opportunity to see eGovernement begin to take hold

Open data. Open government. Open Internet. 2010 is going to be a big year.

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Underground Secure Data Center Operations

Technology based companies are building new data centers in old mines, caves, and bunkers to host computer equipment below the Earth's surface.

Underground Secure Data Center Operations have a upward trend.

Operations launched in inactive gypsum mines, caves, old abandoned coal mines, abandoned solid limestone mines, positioned deep below the bedrock mines, abandoned hydrogen bomb nuclear bunkers, bunkers deep underground and secure from disasters, both natural and man-made.

The facility have advantages over traditional data centers, such as increased security, lower cost, scalability and ideal environmental conditions. There economic model works, despite the proliferation of data center providers, thanks largely to the natural qualities inherent in the Underground Data Centers.

With 10,000, to to over a 1,000,000 square feet available, there is lots of space to be subdivided to accommodate the growth needs of clients. In addition, the Underground Data Centers has an unlimited supply of naturally cool, 50-degree air, providing the ideal temperature and humidity for computer equipment with minimal HVAC cost.

They are the most secure data centers in the world and unparalleled in terms of square footage, scalability and environmental control.

Yet, while the physical and cost benefits of being underground make them attractive, they have to also invested heavily in high-speed connectivity and redundant power and fiber systems to ensure there operations are not just secure, but also state-of-the-art.

There initially focused on providing disaster recovery solutions, and backup co-location services.

Clients lease space for their own servers, while other provides secure facilities, power and bandwidth. They offers redundant power sources and multiple high-speed Internet connections through OC connected to SONET ring linked to outside connectivity providers through redundant fiber cables.

Underground Data Centers company augments there core services to include disaster recovery solutions, call centers, NOC, wireless connectivity and more.

Strategic partnering with international, and national information technology company, enable them to offer technology solutions ranging from system design and implementation to the sale of software and equipment.

The natural qualities of the Underground Data Centers allow them to offer the best of both worlds premier services and security at highly competitive rates.

Underground Data Centers were established starting in 1990's but really came into there own after September 11 attacks in 2001 when there founders realized the former mines, and bunker offered optimal conditions for a data center. The mines, and bunkers offered superior environmental conditions for electronic equipment, almost invulnerable security and they located near power grids.

Adam Couture, a Mass.-based analyst for Gartner Inc. said Underground Data Centers could find a niche serving businesses that want to reduce vulnerability to any future attacks. Some Underground Data Centers fact sheet said that the Underground Data Center would protect the data center from a cruise missile explosion or plane crash.

Every company after September 11 attacks in 2001 are all going back and re-evaluating their business-continuity plans, This doesn't say everybody's changing them, but everybody's going back and revisiting them in the wake of what happened and the Underground Data Center may be just that.

Comparison chart: Underground data centers

Five facilities compared
Name InfoBunker, LLC The Bunker Montgomery Westland Cavern Technologies Iron Mountain The Underground
Location Des Moines, Iowa* Dover, UK Montgomery, Tex. Lenexa, Kan. Butler County, Penn.*
In business since 2006 1999 2007 2007 Opened by National Storage in 1954. Acquired by Iron Mountain 1998.
Security /access control Biometric; keypad; pan, tilt and zoom cameras; door event and camera logging CCTV, dogs, guards, fence Gated, with access control card, biometrics and a 24x7 security guard Security guard, biometric scan, smart card access and motion detection alarms 24-hour armed guards, visitor escorts, magnetometer, x-ray scanner, closed-circuit television, badge access and other physical and electronic measures for securing the mine's perimeter and vaults
Distance underground (feet) 50 100 60 125 220
Ceiling height in data center space (feet) 16 12 to 50 10 16 to 18 15 (10 feet from raised floor to dropped ceiling)
Original use Military communications bunker Royal Air Force military bunker Private bunker designed to survive a nuclear attack. Complex built in 1982 by Louis Kung (Nephew of Madam Chang Kai Shek) as a residence and headquarters for his oil company, including a secret, 40,000 square foot nuclear fallout shelter. The office building uses bulletproof glass on the first floor and reception area and 3-inch concrete walls with fold-down steel gun ports to protect the bunker 60 feet below. Limestone mine originally developed by an asphalt company that used the materials in road pavement Limestone mine
Total data center space (square feet) 34,000 50,000 28,000 plus 90,000 of office space in a hardened, above-ground building. 40,000 60,000
Total space in facility 65,000 60,000 28,000 3 million 145 acres developed; 1,000 acres total
Data center clients include Insurance company, telephone company, teaching hospital, financial services, e-commerce, security
monitoring/surveillance, veterinary, county government
Banking, mission critical Web applications, online trading NASA/T-Systems, Aker Solutions, Continental Airlines, Houston Chronicle, Express Jet Healthcare, insurance, universities, technology, manufacturing, professional services Marriott International Inc., Iron Mountain, three U.S. government agencies
Number of hosted primary or backup data centers 2 50+ 13 26 5
Services offered Leased data center space, disaster recovery space, wholesale bandwidth Fully managed platforms, partly managed platforms, co-location Disaster recovery/business continuity, co-location and managed services Data center space leasing, design, construction and management Data center leasing, design, construction and maintenance services
Distance from nearest large city Des Moines, about 45 miles* Canterbury, 10 miles; London, 60 miles Houston, 40 miles Kansas City, 15 miles Pittsburgh, 55 miles
Location of cooling system, includng cooling towers Underground Underground Above and below ground. All cooling towers above ground in secure facility. Air cooled systems located underground. Cooling towers located outside
Chillers located above ground to take advantage of "free cooling." Pumps located underground.
Location of generators and fuel tanks Underground Above ground and below ground Two below ground, four above ground. All fuel tanks buried topside. Underground Underground
*Declined to cite exact location/disatance for security reasons.