Friday, 24 July 2009

Swine Flu

The world has gone swine flu crazy! The public has become paranoid about contracting swine flu and doctors have been inundated with appointments from people who think they have the symptoms. The NHS has just launched a telephone and online service to handle the huge number of enquiries and to provide Tamiflu without the need for a visit to the doctor, where the infection has potential to spread rapidly. Record numbers of people have been phoning the service and accessing the online website,

In the first hour they received 10,000 phone calls and 9.3 million website hits!

NHS direct normally run at around 110-140 GB of bandwidth a month with people looking for information on their website. With their dedicated swine flu website coming online, in the first 3 hours they used 1,404 GB! The new website does use a less bandwidth-heavy design, but even taking that into consideration, they had a rise of 2,453% in bandwidth used! If you compare their normal bandwidth figure (110-140GB a month for 2006-2007) with that of 2003-2004 (25GB) you can see how much of an increase in the reliance on the internet there has been to help find information and diagnose problems.

Is the internet becoming a core utility? The majority of the country use the internet daily to find out everything from directions to talking to relatives abroad. We rely on it as our library, dictionary and news source. When did 'Google it' become an acceptable business term!? Lord Carter's Digital Britain report has promoted the need to give everyone in the UK access to broadband internet by 2015. When you move house, ensuring that you have internet connectivity has become as essential as organising your electricity, water and gas suppliers. If the internet is becoming a core utility, should it be treated as such? Should each house have a bandwidth meter to measure 'how much' internet you use? That way, you could could pay for what you use and not what you think you will use; better value for money for the consumer.

Using the same methodology in Data Centres would reduce the amount of website downtime that is linked to company's exceeding designated bandwidth limits. Companies wouldn't have to second guess the amount of bandwidth they might use which would make Data Centres more competitively priced. There would be a larger focus on the cost of power and subsequently the efficiency of each Data Centre. With more efficient Data Centres, less power would be used and there would be less CO2 being released so the Data Centre operator, customer and the environment would benefit!

Migration Solutions created a Environmental Report and Assessment to look at how a Data Centre operates and areas that could be improved within the facility and operations. The ERA report comes with an entire section on changes that can be made to help your Data Centre run more efficiently and effectively. These improvements range from free, low man-time changes that can yield a 5-10% reduction in power costs to major works which include changing a facility layout, rack layout and replacing old plant equipment. For more information on the Environmental Report and Assessment visit

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