I was re-reading old magazines and this DataCenter Dynamics Focus magazine from August/September 2009 caught my attention.
Mike Manos while he was at Digital Realty Trust, said in an interviw with James staten of Forrester Research, "Most people in IT and facilities have no idea what planning is. The day most enterprises realise they need more capacity is near, or actually on, the day they run out of capacity. Integration of IT and facilities and understanding what planning looks like is key to the future of our industry. The burden moves to the software industry and the software industry is relatively ignorant of the data center. Why aren't we putting more pressure on the software industry. I'm putting $50m into a facility so that I can run a $1m piece of software."
Has that changed in the last two years?
James Staten finished the panel interview by asking his guests for one simple action to drive efficiency. John Haas of Intel said "sub meter!", Mike Manos said "Plug the holes in your floor." Bill Mazzetti of Rosendin Electric said "airflow analysis", and Tim Furlong of Facebook said, "cooling - do the basic things."
Those bits of wisdom still sound useful.
In the June 2009 issue of the same magazine, an article about Carbon Tax begins with this paragraph about the UK:
"How quickly is the data center industry adapting to the looming carbon credit scheme which will impact businesses in early 2010? How will the scheme affect data center serice contracts? Will it drive data center investment overseas to countries with less stringent tax regimes?" Further down on the page, the article author asks, "What this shows is that you can only know what you know--and right now, no one knows much apart from the fact that carbon tax is coming." (I can't see where the author is named, so consider it an editorial group-write from DataCenterDynamics.
I don't know the answer and it is a question I will be asking my colleagues next week at the Broad Group Data Centre 2011 conference in Nice, France. I didn't see a single presentation listed with the words carbon credits in the title on the agenda. What does that signify? It is obviously not top of mind...
Then I went way back to the "Design Recommendations for the High Performance Data Centers report of the Integrated Design Charrette hosted by the Rocky Mountain Institute on 2-5 February 2003. EIGHT YEARS AGO. On page 11 of the report you can read this: "The result of this charrette was a data center design concept that reduces energy demand by an order of magnitude (89%) compared to today's standard designs, while providing equivalent computing power and greater reliability."
What percentage of our data centers in North America or globally have reduced energy demand by 89% since 2003?
It goes on to say "The charrette addressed several important issues:
1- Unnecessarily high energy bills (yes we've done that)
2- Unnecessarily high capital cost (yes we are doing that)
3- Grid Dependence (hardly: the charrete recommended utility grid as backup to onsite ultra-reliable power generation)
4- Utility distribution charges and delays: (still in its infancey based on my research earlier this spring)
As we know the world as changed significantly since 2003 and our energy resources are more precarious today than then. We need another forward thinking RMI-convened Charrette with timetables attached. Can we afford not to?
Have a GREEN DAY!