frankly, I am wondering what is newsworthy to write about. I've been at several events including The Green Grid, and I gave a workshop at the Green Data Center conference in San Diego. Trying to capture the tenor of the season, it seems that everybody at these events pretty much knows what 10 best practices they ought to follow to obtain energy efficiency in their IT shops. This says that our industry has successfully taught those best practices over the past three years. That is good news.
Still of concern is the percentage of data centers that do not apply those best practices. A high percentage of them. The organizational benefits still seem to be less important than overcoming the fear that uptime will suffer. How can this be addressed?
It is a question of confidence, isn't it? Confidence that one can have both energy efficiency as well as uptime. The question is made more difficult because two different corporate departments have performance metrics that contradict one another: Real Estate owns the power bill and IT owns the uptime responsibility. Have we made progress on this over the last few years? If we had made sufficient inroads on that dilemma, then the economic downturn would have hastened rather than slowed IT energy efficiency. So what will positively influence that situation?
Could the drive toward energy efficiency in data centers be driven by federal data center projects? The federal mandates that drive energy efficiency and water conservation are laid out very clearly in America's government offices. It is a paradigm shift (for me, how about you?) to perceive the public sector achieving economies of energy efficiency as fast or faster than in the private sector. But the General Services Administration has streamlined how these initiatives can be acquired through the appointment of 16 companies who are compensated for the energy savings they earn for their federal customers.
On September 15, 2009, a press release from GSA includes this claim: "Cloud computing helps to lower the cost and environmental impact of government operations, create a more secure computing environment and drive innovation within the government by pooling IT resources across organizational boundaries." Good. I expect that the claim will be proven to be true. So shouldn't there be a rush toward cloud computing in the private sector to achieve similar benefits? Maybe IT folks are dubious about that claim and with insufficient data, they are holding back investments to see whether this is just one more flavor of the month rather than a transformation of the data center industry. What do you think? Have a green day!