Saturday, November 3, 2007

What the Green Data Center Can Learn from the Prius

With The announcement of Active Power Management, and now the Cassatt Active Response product line, I hope that data center operations will now nudge a little closer to the 21st century.

Here's analogy #1: You're driving and come to a red light, you stop the car but the engine keeps running. It's wasteful and inefficient, but because it's generally considered too inconvenient to sta
rt & stop your engine every time you hit a red light, nobody does it. Enter the Prius: Come to a red light, and the engine automatically stops; hit the accelerator, and it starts again. Simple. Automatic. Efficient.

That's the analogy Cassatt is bringing to servers -- if they sit idle, even for an hour a day, they're automatically shut off and re-started when
they're needed. For production environments, this might only apply to a few scale-out architectures that are provisioned for busy times-of-day, but for Development/Test, there are *always* machines that go unused for periods of time. Cassatt's Active Power Management takes care of this automatically. Simple. Automatic. Efficient.

Don't just believe me. On Aug. 2, the EPA published a Report to Congress on Server and Data Cen
ter Efficiency. A core tenet in the report states "implement Power Management on 100% of applicable servers" was a core aspect to "improved operation" of US data centers.

Oh - and here's analogy #2: (and believe-it-or-not, it's from Detroit as well as Japan): It's called Cylinder Shutdown. Turns out that when you literally don't need all the engine's horsepower, cylinders within the engine are dynamically shut down. Check out the future Northstar XV12 Caddy engine, as well the engine in the 2008 Honda Accord.

Turns out, Cassatt technology can do this with IT Servers/blades as well! If you have a farm of servers and a few are sitting idle, they're turned off and kept as "bare metal" until some application needs their horsepower. Then they're dynamically re-purposed for whatever application is needed. That's the ultimate in capital efficiency.

Can this really work? With customers we've spoken to -- some with development environments pushing 4,000 servers -- actively controlling server power & repurposing can save nearly 50% (that's fifty) of operational costs.

Think of all the cars idling at this very moment, and the amount of fuel they're burning. Now, think of all of the servers in your data centers & labs just sitting there waiting to do something. And think of all the Watts they're chewing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don’t think you really have to much to worry about. Having your network go through a metamorphosis like the one yours is going through can cause quite a shake up around the office though its lasting effects will be positive. Server provisioning will always help improve application availability for you and the introduction of high level IT automation is going to help you streamline the IT process and get more done. Get ready to enjoy hours of programming rather than hours of patching and debugging. That gets old really fast but once you guys have implemented all of the automation tools you plan to use you’ll see plenty of benefits.