Monday, February 4, 2008

Huge Power Inefficiencies in Dev/Test Labs

Last week I was able to meet with the Director of Global Lab Services for a major networking company. We had a wide-ranging conversation, but here is an insightful summary that continues to reinforce my power management thesis:
  • Company divisions are moving to individual P&L's (with chargebacks) and are under pressure to ID and eliminate wasteful costs
  • He's overseeing the use of thousands of pieces of hardware (servers, switches, routers), being used by roughly 500 engineers (many overseas in India). Many of these pieces consume over 1kW each.
  • Lab hardware is constantly being reserved for test-beds, checked-out, and then returned to unreserved status. But it's clear that even when a piece of hardware is part of a test-bed, it may be un-used for as much as 50% of the time.
  • In labs alone, the company is paying nearly $100k per month in electricity bills
  • He knows that there are massive power inefficiencies, and is looking for a solution.
Now, this company is not even on the Fortune 500 list (although on the F1000 list).... which says to me that there are probably hundreds of other enterprises facing the same problem. So as the industry focuses on "green data centers," virtualization and cooling technologies, *why* don't we simply look at the use rates (some would day the duty cycles) of the equipment itself? Simply using Active Power Management ought to be a quick/easy solution right off the bottom line.

And what better place to begin than in Dev/Test?

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