Blog from October, 2011

We've now almost completed the retrofit of the three B50 conference rooms. All three have identical controllers and interfaces to make it easy for staff to move between the rooms. All three rooms have bright, current generation projectors with both HDMI and VGA connectors - and support for virtually every resolution supported by laptops - so no need to degrade your resolution to get a good picture.

All three rooms also have new audio - with new amplifiers and speakers in the ceiling in the 50A rooms, and on the front wall in 50B-4205.

50b-4205 and 50a-5132 now have permanent conference phones installed as well (integrated as part of the Lifesize unit in 50B and a new Polycom Stealth phone in 50A-5132.)

On an aesthetic note, we've hidden the projection room in 50a-5132 with a "transit vinyl" which allows you to look out from the projection room, but not see inside. The vinyl has a nice panorama of the Bay - meaning you can see almost the same view out the real windows or the fake one. In 50b-4205, an installation art piece called "Glaser's Bubble Puzzle" captures the beauty of the bubble chamber images and the challenges of assembling the "puzzles pieces" of scientific inquiry.

All this is in operation in the rooms now, but we've got a few things left to do. We've got temporary user facing instructions in the rooms now, which will be finalized over the next couple of weeks. We'll also be testing out whether a permanent computer in 50a-5132 will see any use - that will be installed next week.

On the back end, we're finalizing the internet interface to the rooms which allows the helpdesk and support staff to see what's going on and, in some cases, troubleshoot issues remotely.

If you're considering a conference room technology upgrade, get in touch with collaborate@lbl.gov to discuss how you can leverage what we've learned.

As of 11pm on on October 20, all production business systems are back online from the storage systems failure earlier in the day. Initial testing of the business applications has been completed and further testing as well as consultation with the functional owners will occur Oct 21 AM.

Again, our apologies for this protracted outage. We will be sharing additional details regarding the outage later today or early next week.

For customers on Google's Rapid Release Schedule (which includes Berkeley Lab), a new Presentation Editor within the Google Docs suite of tools is being deployed.

Google has added many of your most requested features, including:

  • Transitions to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
  • Animations to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
  • New themes to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
  • Drawings to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
  • Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data

Click here for more information

If you want to get regular updates on Google Products, consider joining the Labs Google Users Group

eLinks Q&A in Reading Lounge

Margery Tibbits and Lena Zentall of the California Digital Library, will be on site to demo and answer questions about eLinks, from 3:30 to 4:30PM on October 24th in the Reading Lounge 54-002.  eLinks let you link to full electronic text articles in journals subscribed to by the LBL Library via databases such as Google Scholar, Web of Science or even through the Melvyl catalog.  (The LBL library catalog will have this capability in the coming months.)  If a direct link is not possible, options are offered, including requesting the item through the Lab’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service.

The IT Division introduced Carbonite backup service for PC and Mac computers in January 2011. Carbonite is reliable, cost effective and easy-to-use.  Since introduction, we have over 500 customers.

Carbonite is easy to install and runs unobtrusively in the background. It securely encrypts data for protection. More importantly, restoring files, whether just a few or your entire backup, takes just a few clicks. Restoring to a new computer, after a crash or upgrade, is easy as well. Unlimited backup storage is only $4.00 monthly, billed yearly at $48.00.

Try it today! To learn more and get started, visit the Backups Service Page.

What was installed:

Cluster support group added the following:

  • No new systems

Business Systems group added the following:

  • No new systems

What was removed:

Cluster support group removed the following:

  • Retired jbei-1 cluster

Business Systems group removed the following:

  • No systems

September average Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE): 1.51

  • Average Power Consumption: 400kW – 66.6%
    • 1kw Lighting – .2%
    • 24.1 Building and IT Losses – 4%
    • 196 Cooling Power – 29%
  • Average Cooling Load: 130 tons
  • Available Rack Space: 71



Data Center Efficiency Progress:

The DOE national average PUE for data centers is 1.75. 50B-1275 data center has evolved from an average PUE of 1.65 (calculated in 2009) to today’s 1.47. Getting there, staying there, and further improving the PUE is an ongoing effort.

Key highlights for this month include:

  • CPU energy use has continued to decrease during the month, dropping the total energy use to a new low for the year.  One additional 15 ton CRAC unit was turned off due to the decrease in heat generated by the servers.  A 15 ton and 20 ton unit are now off.
  • Progressing work to allow automatic adjustment of air flow.  We have installed variable speed fan motors in the air handler units.  The air handlers will be connected directly to the room environmental monitoring system, which in turn will automatically adjust air flow depending on IT power consumption and heat load and may allow us to turn off air handlers, which will improve our PUE.
  • The new software required for this functionality is due in early October.