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Showing posts from December, 2007

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer Networks

I'm very pleased to say that our Knowledge Transfer Network, Grid Computing Now!, will continue to operate for at least another year. We have just received final confirmation from the newly-reconstituted Technology Strategy Board. This is welcome news; it means that we can continue our plans to bring users, vendors and academics together to address real problems in several sectors. So it seems a good moment to reflect on the state of KTNs and how they might develop.

Innovate07 was the showcase for all 22 Knowledge Transfer Networks. This was my first time at Innovate and I was impressed by the range of technologu areas and delegates. It was also a good opportunity for networking between KTNs, which has led to some joint initiatives.

This range of KTNs is in part a branding exercise, as some KTNs had previous existences as Faraday Institutes or other institutes. So we at GCN are in the odd position of being one of the first KTNs to be set up and at the same time among the ones …

Scotland's first eco-powered data farm

I delighted to see that Internet Villages International are building a major data centre to be powered entirely by "green" energy in Scotland. This is exactly the kind of development that some of us have been arguing for. The centre will be built next to a source of renewable energy and the waste heat is intended to be used for a new village and for local horticulture.

This makes sense in many ways. Data centres do not need to be near the businesses that use them (think of how often you use Google and where their data centres are). Placing them near sources of renewable energy saves on transmission losses; indeed Google, Amazon and other firms are already doing this in the USA. Also, data centres produce a lot of heat and it makes sense to use this rather than waste it.

Let's hope that the operators minimise the energy they do use as well, for example by running virtualised servers, building modular UPS and cooling systems, and using external air intakes rather than…