Last week, I waited on line 50 minutes to fill up my car with gasbecause ofa mini-panic brought on by Hurricane Ike.This week, gas prices in N.C.are over $4 US. Needless to say conserving ENERGY is on my mindand it'stime to take action.
On Tuesday, I co-hosted Energy Camp atInterop 2008 in NYC. Myco-host was James Govenor,from Redmonk and we used his popular Unconferenceformat again (we also did an Unconference at IMPACT 2009).
I delivered the EnergyCamp keynote, on Tuesday morning.As many of you know, I like to show short home-made videos on the themeof my talks.During this pitch, I've decided to garnish it with some of IBM's"green-themed" TV commercials, which I think are hilarious. E.g., GreenData Center Man.
Setting the stage, I opened with some facts on howelectricity use in the Data Center is of control.As of 2006, theelectricity useattributable to the nation’s servers and data centers is estimated atabout 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), or 1.5 percent of total U.S.electricity consumption. The yearly bill had double since 2000, costing$4.5Band equivalent to the electricity consumed by 5.8million average U.S. households and is similar to the amount ofelectricity used by the entireU.S transportation manufacturing industry, which includes themanufacture of automobiles, aircraft, trucks, and ships.
(US CensusBureau 2006, US DOE 2005/2007)
I had a few key messages:
- Re-Think IT - My main message for the keynote was you cansave energyincrementally by targeting select technologies in your data center.Hardware (servers) are usually the first place people look to savingenergy. In many casesthis brings (low) double digit savings (which can be significantdepending on the size of yourdata center.)However, your biggest return will come when you work across the stackand have your hardware, software and business processes work togetherto save energy.The higher you go up the stack,the more visibility and insight exists (into the inefficiencies) thatifoptimized, can leadto multiple X factors in energy savings.I gave two examples energy saving by working higher up the technologystack. The first I called Energy Savings viaRainmaking, the otherEnergy Savingsvia Smart SOA.
- Energy Saving via RainmakingThe idea here is to have your middleware and hardware work togethertogether to more efficiently save energy by apply cleaver applicationoptimization techniques. There aretwo significant control points, that provide the "dials" which allowyou to "tune in" your energy savings. The first aspect has to do withcontrolling the shape of the work as it flowsinto your data center. We are working on "application aware" edgeserversthat are guidedby higher-level operational and business policies to ensure that theimportant work flows more fluidly into your systems. The next facet hasto do with controlling the shape of the applications within your datacenter (or shared resource pool/cloud). This capabilityensures that the compute cloud is working on supporting the applicationwith the highestbusiness impact, and gracefully degrades the services for work that hasless importants. But applying these techniques, you can do more in yourdata center with significantly lesshardware and software - leading to impressive energy and cost savings.
I also ran through some cool animations of our WebSphereVirtualEnterpriseproduct to drive some of these points home.
- Saving Energy with Smart SOAThe idea here is to get the business userinvolved to more efficientlydirect the flow of business processes in your enterprise. The firststep in making this happen is to close the communication gap between ITand Business - by having the business user use toolslike a graphical business modeler and monitor to electronically expresstheir business processes. By sharing business processes in electronicform, the business user can moreefficiently work though "what if" simulations looking for opportunitytocut out paper use, or find more efficient routes to market. Once thebusiness process is deployed, IT, usinga Service Oriented Architecture, can map the business process to a setof loosely coupled services, giving flexibility to change and reactefficiently to changing business times - beforeto much IT is wasted on the more inefficient approach. Lastly, bymonitoring the business process the business user can use empiricaldata to better optimize and reduce wastewithin the processes - leading to a continue refinement of theirprocesses and a potentiallysignificant saving on the energy use by people and systems.
I also ran through some compelling animations of our WebSphereBusiness Modeler and Monitor products to illustrate these points.
I don't consider myself a Tree-hugger.However, I know that just alittle technology will go a long way to paint your data centers alittle greener.Let's spread the word and get with it - we will also save some greenalong the way.