Your Planet Needs You! Help Cut Waste Caused By Over-Sizing Data Centers

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I need your help please!

I’m looking to enlist the help of anyone who has an interest in data centers in a campaign to cut waste caused by over-sizing or over-provisioning.

I won’t go into the causes of this epidemic (my colleague Henrik Leerberg provides a good overview in his post “When It Comes to Data Center Design, Never Make Assumptions” which you can find elsewhere on the Schneider Electric Data Center blog), but I would just underline the fact that it’s without doubt the most significant cause of waste in this most energy intensive of businesses.

Since over-sizing is endemic from chip provisioning to data delivery, we all have the opportunity to gain from its elimination. So in a sense, I’m not worried whether your motivation is really to help save the planet (although I think we should all care about this), because reducing energy use and increasing efficiency, cutting carbon emissions and saving money are all sides of the same coin. It’s safe for me to say that every good corporate citizen should have an interest.

Here’s how I’d like your help, and at this stage I’m only looking for an indication of whether you think this is right thinking (and I apologise for mentioning a brand here, this is not a product pitch): With the launch of StruxureWare for Data Centers 7.2 we introduced a new database – the Genome library – which provides information about the power profile and configuration of IT assets as they are in use, not in the catalog.

The idea is that capacity requirements can be designed more carefully in order to stop the inflation caused by using nameplate values. What would help enable the Genome library to be far more effective in the reduction of waste would be if the data center community were to add the DNA of their servers and network equipment to the database. I’m thinking that we could share the information the same way that we share our images or status on Facebook.

Of course, unless you’d like otherwise, the identity of the servers and their owners can remain anonymous. But if we all contributed to the library then we could end up with a really diverse and comprehensive archive, like Wikipedia for example. And that way we’d have open access to information about all sorts of equipment in its various states of utilization that could be put to use to aid far better planning, far better designs and much better use of energy.

The data center industry is growing so fast and demand for space increasing at such a rate that some commentators have estimated it could account for 25% of global energy use in the future. If that is the case, or even if it only makes to half that number or a tenth, we need to do something about the 40% of energy which is wasted through over provisioning.

So there’s my question; would you sign up to such a campaign? Would you add the DNA of your IT and network equipment to the Genome library to help the industry as a whole? Send me a message using comments below – or email me if we’re in contact and together we can see if we can get some momentum for this campaign.







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  • Brett Newman

    12 years ago

    The New York Times of Sunday September 23, 2012 (yesterday) has a comrehensive front page article about this very topic.

  • Wesley Burhoe

    12 years ago

    Hey Soeren! I think this is a great idea. “Build it and they will come!”

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