Monday, January 22, 2007

Clothes Dryers, Data Centers, and Power Management

Just saw this article on an intelligent appliances communicating with the local power grid. Basically, there's now a clothes dryer that checks-in to see if power is "expensive" (i.e. is it a peak period, or is there a power emergency) and only turns on during off-peak times to save money. Intelligent power consumption is a reality.

This says to me that the concept of intelligently balancing Supply/Demand is ever-more sophisticated - it's not just about one meeting the other: It's about optimizing the economics of the deal.

So What If IT economics had a similar governing economic decision-making process? It can exist today - whereby the how, where and when of compute resources could be governed by a number of variables (i.e. cost of hardware, availability of resources, importance of the SW service) including the cost of the power/cooling/facilities. You might have a "follow-the-moon" system, whereby data centers might have jobs routed to them when they're off-peak, and resources are cheap. Like at 3:00am, when your clothes dryer is running.

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