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This Week in Tech: Data Center Management and IT News

The first full week in November saw significant and surprising developments in a number of ongoing data center management and IT stories. From revelations about Google’s mystery party barge to the remarkable number of people ready for the self-driving car, here is some of the news to know going into the weekend:

Google’s Barges Not Floating Data Centers

Mystery Google barges anchored off the coast of San Francisco and Portland, Maine fueled rampant speculation that Google was building floating data centers. Google tempered these rumors in a somewhat cryptic email, TechCrunch reported, saying that the structures are still in the process of being defined but will likely be used as interactive educational spaces. Data center management staff getting their sea legs ready will have to wait.

Senate Bill Accelerates Data Center Consolidation

An ongoing, multi-year federal project to consolidate data centers received further mandates when the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved a bill on Wednesday to increase oversight in the closure and migration of federal facilities. Nextgov reported that the 24 agencies participating in the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative will have to provide annual reports to the White House on their progress. The bill is in response to criticism of lax data center management practices that are making the project unlikely to meet its stated goal of saving $3 billion by 2015.

Fear of Cyberattacks Could Contribute to Increased Vulnerability

While security is a fundamental part of data center management, many enterprises may be so worried about exploitation that they could be leaving themselves more vulnerable to attack, a recent Gartner report stated. In 2013, 53 percent of organizations said they use either informal IT risk management divisions or none at all. The lack of a formal risk management hierarchy and sufficient data loss prevention methods are making organizations more uncertain and contributing to a lack of proactive decision-making.

The Self-Driving Car Gaining Public Momentum

While still in the development phase, the autonomous car may already be developing a positive public perception; 90 percent of drivers stated in a recent survey that they would be interested in the vehicles if they led to reduced insurance rates, according to Network World. While most drivers say that they are better than a computer at operating a motor vehicle, one in five said they would cede control of their cars to a computer if the option becomes available. As self-driving cars become more popular, they will create opportunities for data centers – self-driving cars and sensors could create as much as 1 GB of data per second, Computerworld reported.

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