Sunday 30 October 2011

Sorry, a minor accounting error

It has been announced that the Hypo Real Estate bank, taken over by the German Government, has recently discovered a small accounting error. Apparently it is worth 55 Billion Euros more than was originally thought.
The scapegoats are being herded as I type. Are we surprised?

Friday 28 October 2011

Directors' pay affects security.

A report on the BBC News web site shows that the pay for directors of large UK companies (FTSE 100) has rising by 50% in the past year. Meanwhile the rest of the UK population are struggling with the effect of the near banking collapse. Unemployment is higher than usual, student tax is £8000 a year and other services are being cut.
It is inevitable that social unrest will increase in this country as a direct result of this social disconnect. Protest marches will most likely increase and so will revenge attacks on company buildings. As part of our services Oaksys Tech have discovered that the majority of companies are ill prepared to withstand such attacks. Any riot near their premises or a sneak attack is likely to inflict substantial damage. The people who will suffer as a consequence of such attacks will be the normal employees and the shareholders (pension funds). Mostly likely public buildings will suffer damage too. As protestors beome much more organised and and informed it is highly likely that computer data centres will become a target of attack.
Organisations can take physical security measures to protect their premises from those types of attack. Obviously those precautions will have to be effected in advance.

Thursday 27 October 2011

European Data Centre Cabinets

One company I've come across in recent years which deserves a higher profile is Minkels. They make equipment room housings, containments, cooling and monitoring equipment. I've seen some impressive innovations in their design and they are prepared to listen to your specific needs.

Worth a look.


Wednesday 26 October 2011

35% annual increase in electricity prices.

The increasing cost of energy became all too apparent to me this morning. At our London home I received a notice from EDF Energy (Electricite De France) telling us they were increasing the monthly direct debit by 35% over the previous payments. We've actually decreased our power usage by about 5% year on year and we normally have a credit amount at the quarterly settlement.

Industry and business must be facing similar increases

Water Mist Fire Suppression

There are a number of high pressure water mist fire suppression systems. The underlying principle is they use water broken into tiny droplets by forcing the water through special nozzles. This greatly increases the total surface area of the water which has the effect of greatly increasing the water cooling capacity. These systems use 10% of the water that a normal fire sprinkler system would use to achieve the same effect.

The technique was developed in the shipping industry where it is widely used for engine room fire suppression systems. It is not a new technology, so most of the kinks have been ironed out. There are a range of systems including pumped and stored gas (e.g. Nitrogen) used to deliver the water. Some are room based there even ones which operate in equipment cabinets.

The mist is non-toxic. It is after all just distilled water. So it is less hazardous than fire suppressant gases to personnel in the area of operation. The non-ionic water and tiny particles are not good electricity conductors so it can be used in the proximity of live equipment. The mist also suppresses smoke and reduces soot damage from the fire.

One example of this is the Hi-Fog system marketed by Marioff; there are other systems which can be easily discovered through Google.

Monday 24 October 2011

Easyspace has lost it.

For several years now we've used Easyspace for domain registration for our internet domain names, but now they increasingly give us problems. They used to be inexpensive and their web interface for managing domain details is generally reliable. Their invoicing side of things is a bit quirky, but does enough to handle bill payments. We've been double charged on occasion but the billing is reasonably accurate.

Of late we've become less enamoured with this supplier. Our first gripe is a £3 "admin charge" to renew each domain name "manually" every 2 years rather than just letting it rollover without intervention. With the rollover renewal, the calculated fee is charged to stored credit card details. We fail to see how the £3 charge is justified. Renewal reminders are automatically generated by their system with no human involvement. With manual renewal it is the customer who has to put in the work to sign on and process the domain renewal; it does not create extra work for Easyspace.

Secondly we are finding that their renewal fees per year for .com and .org domain names are becoming increasingly expensive. Our alternate supplier of domain registration charges about 30% of the fees for the same service levels, let me restate that; the rival domain registrar is one third of the cost of Easyspace for the the equivalent service. We are not talking about the cheap registrars like 1&1, but registrars with a reliable and accessible service.

Thirdly, Easyspace has just accused us of having our account "in arrears" because we didn't renew one of their expensive domain registration services. That strikes us as downright "client hostile" and is not an acceptable business practice. We've queried this in the past, in respect of the way they invoice for an unwanted service and their customer services told us not to worry about the invoices shown as outstanding on their system. When Easyspace was a freestanding company their approach to customer relations was much better.

They won't be getting new business from us in the future. It is sad because in the past in our role as trading floor builders we've introduced our customers to Easyspace and also to their parent commercial datacentre hosting business IOMart. We'd like to support a UK supplier, but they are no longer on our approved list. It's their loss.

Edit 25/10/11 And they wonder why we don't use their automatic renewal.