Austin, Texas: The Future and Epicenter of the Internet, Web Hosting, and Energy
Austin is a creative hub. It is young, it is hip, it is up-and-coming. The start up community in Austin is growing—the high tech sector has drawn tens of thousands of engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs and other smart energy users to create an incubator for new business – especially high tech businesses that employ green tech to power up profits. Austin’s business community proves that green is not only good for the environment, it’s good for business.
Because of the innovation in entrepreneurship, it comes as no surprise that Google has chosen Austin as a location for "Google Fiber"—with a connection that is 100 times faster than today's average broadband speeds. There is no doubt Austin will know exactly what to do with Google's high-speed fiber Internet backbone connection, the "gigabyte web world". Results include, for example, instant downloads, crystal clear high definition TV and e-commerce results that fly. Indeed, gigabyte connectivity can bring people together. It will be even more awesome when Google gets multiple communities in multiple cities connected via the "gigabyte web world".
Scientists, mathematicians, education, TV channels, health care—anything in the creative arena will benefit from Google Fiber. Human creativity in Austin is among one of it's greatest strengths. This represents the opportunity for Austin to become the epicenter of a gigabyte web world. Austenites can not tell you now what a Google Fiber will mean to Austin a year from now. In Austin, we are ready to experiment with it and most likely it will be fun. Google Fiber is coming to Austin.
The People of the Mueller Community are Pioneers
What is the Mueller Community?
The Pecan Street Project represents connectivity to the Internet, social media, friends, family, the most important thing of all—our lives. Just a few years ago, jet airplanes landed there. Mueller was built on the 700 acres of land positioned at the exact location of the previous City of Austin airport. Now the Mueller development is one of the most vibrant, diverse communities anywhere, and that is why the Pecan Street Project asked Mueller to partner with them on their pilot project. One hundred families volunteered to have their home energy use monitored for an entire year. The information it provides to Pecan Street will be amazing. The Pecan Street project is bringing people together to do something in a way that has been done no where else in the country. They are moving into the future to better understand technology and energy use. Mueller is the world's largest controlled energy efficiency experiment which will provide great insights into what smart technologies, smart markets, and smart consumers can do for reducing energy consumption.
Pecan Street Project and Smarter Ways to Use Energy
Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, the Pecan Street Project is a research and development organization focused on developing and testing advanced technology, business model and customer behavior surrounding advanced energy management systems. The Pecan Street's flagship effort is the "Pecan Street Demonstration", a smart grid research project that began in Austin’s Mueller community.
Once the Pecan Street Project understands how people use energy, they can begin to find ways to use it smarter. From the very beginning the Pecan Street Project has involved the Mueller residents to answer questions about what data is collected, how it would be used and how it would help launch a new generation of innovative products.
Redefine Energy Use with Smarter, Greener Technology
The Mueller development is unique. All walks of people and all kinds of people reside in Mueller and share a unique purpose—to help redefine how people use energy. About one hundred years ago, we built the electric grid. Then after WWII we built it out again and made it bigger. Then we did it again in the 70's and 80's, but we have not really done it since. So, we are going through another one of the "infrastructure re-investment periods" in which there is over a trillion dollars on the table that is allocated to spend just to upgrade, improve, and control the current energy system. That trillion dollar opportunity gives America a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do it better than before.
The Future of Home Energy Use
When future generations grow up, they will have different technology in their houses. The future of houses is changing. Mueller combines national principles for green building developed by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED with Austin Energy's Green Building program to encourage resource-efficient design. The Muller community was developed using a new model of “green urbanism” at three distinct levels: Green Community Design, Green Buildings and Green Infrastructure. Houses will be transformed into smarter entities that know when the residents needs hot water or when the residents use the most energy. Homes are talking in Mueller and Pecan Street is listening. It is a story worth telling with an exciting future.
Mueller residents who are participating in the Pecan Street Project are excited because they are helping this critical project and concept forward and making it real. Mueller residents are part of something really important. The residents can start making small steps, then see how they use their energy, further their neighbors will take a small step. Next, more and more people will join in and make changes so that eventually thousands of Mueller residents will together take big steps and make a big change. Being a part of something that is going to help future generations. It will make life better for future generations.
Pecan Street Research
The Pecan Street Organization is comprised of two divisions:
- The focus of the Pecan Street Research Institute is advancing understanding and solutions that address utility system reliability, climate change, renewable energy integration and customer needs and preferences. The Mueller community is the nation’s most significant creator of original customer energy use research data available to the research community.
- The Pike Powers Laboratory and Center for Commercialization offers specialized capabilities for developing, testing and validating a wide range of smart grid, distributed energy and consumer electronics hardware and software.
Texas—A World Power in Renewable Energy
Texas has grown into a force to be reckoned with in the future of renewable energy in the United States. Indeed, Holland and Spain are usually what people think of when they think of wind turbines, but here in Texas is home to two of the largest wind farms in the entire world. Clean, renewable electricity is prevalent in Texas.
The challenge, however, is to get this clean energy from point A to point B. This is where the smart grid comes into play. The Smart Grid is a developing network of net technologies, equipment, and controls working together to instantly respond to the energy needs of the 21st century. The Pecan Street Project and its two divisions: Mueller community and Pike Powers Laboratory have propelled Texas into a world power in renewable industry research and innovation. Indeed, the Pike Powers Laboratory's innovative focus is on testing green energy and smart-grid solutions in Austin’s Mueller neighborhood.
Data Centers of the Future
IT architecture entails building data centers for today as well as for the future as requirements change and the need to scale increases. Flexibility and scalability in data center planning is crucial. As demand for custom application development spirals, so do complexities. The drive to streamline, simplify, and standardize data centers has not only magnified, but is predicted to surpass the current alignment between IT and Business concerns. The efficiency of data centers today to support ten gig connectivity may instead require the ability to support forty gig and one hundred gig speeds. Any of the multitude of requirements needed to support a data center can change over time and an infrastructure that can accommodate those changes is crucial to the impact technology and data centers make upon the Internet.
Web Hosting and Internet Infrastructure
Web hosting companies, in particular, are concerned with how long a data center and its infrastructure can meet its needs, for example, how long can a physical infrastructure meet the needs of a web hosting firm. As you choose systems that are more energy efficient and do more processing, you can get more out of money-saving ways to cool, which reduces cost and streamlines air-flow, for example. Similarly as the Internet is virtualized more, streamlined data centers offer more functionality relative to the power that is being consumed. The end result is that data centers may provide the Internet with more usable capacity than what the Internet would otherwise have. More usable capacity is provided with systems that can provide more functionality and draw less power. As a result, a data center can last much longer and be more scalable and efficient while generating more speed than traditional data centers, which is good for Fortune 500 corporations including web hosting firms, and indeed—the entire Internet.