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  • tjcanning 8:35 am on June 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , PUE,   

    Wireless Sensors: Taking It To The Big Screen! 

    Its time to step up my blog game and start shooting videos! Hope you like this one – it is green screen video, post production by Final Cut/LiveType, shot using a Canon A1S HD camera and about 5k wattage of pro lighting. Sorry – it’s hard to be energy efficient using 5k of light – but that’s what it takes to produce this stuff!

    It’s a generic wireless video – in that I hope to get the minds of IT and Facilities folks thinking about WSN (Wireless Sensor Network) technology and how the application of such technology can help green their enterprise data center. Remember – for technology to have value – it must solve a problem. The current problem, as I see it today in older data centers, is the clear lack of power and thermal visibility – which just plainly drives major inefficiencies and cooling over-kills.  Solve this problem – and you can save major money and tighten your green belt a notch.

    Rather than write a long blog post – just watch the video please! :-)

    Making a video like this has been fun. I’ve still yet to develop my camera personality – at times I am looking a little too serious perhaps. But, over time I hope to loosen up and have some fun and expression to help flow the timeline out a bit more and make it more natural. It’s ain’t easy – but I’ll be working on it!

  • tjcanning 7:01 pm on June 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , PUE   

    SVLG Energy Summit: Count Me In! 

    Get Ready for the SVLG Energy Party of the year!!!

    Looking forward to this event – both to see folks that I’ve met during the last year as well as some of the new shakers and movers in the energy game. SVLG IMHO brings in the best of the best (heck I’m going to it right?)  so this is definitely an event to bring your A-game to. I was so excited to publish this post that I even high-lightened the title in green!

    I’ll be in full force at this event. I’m very curious to compare the event velocity to the previous SVLG Energy Summit I was at – and see what trends or patterns are becoming more pronounced in the vendor solutions and customers use case descriptions. There is no better market indicator that customer use cases and stories to figure out what is really happening – or is going to happen.

    I’ll post an update of the event, and maybe even some video footage if I can work it.

    See you there hopefully!

  • tjcanning 8:43 pm on March 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Data Center World, , PUE   

    AFCOM Data Center World. Keeping it Cool! 

    Ha! So, I was kinda slow to write a post on my attendance at Data Center World that just took place in Nashville – and could not find a good picture of the event.

    If you’ve ever spent time in Nashville – you know all about Country & Western and Jack Daniels. So, to help grab your attention -> I’ve decided to use a Jack Daniels picture I found!

    It actually works well to highlight that just like good computer equipment, a good whiskey also needs to be chilled!

    I’m not a whiskey drinker – but you can’t visit Nashville without seeing a 1000 signs for it, nor can you visit Data Center World without thinking of cooling!

    • What’s my inlet temp?

    • Where are my hot spots?

    • How cold in the cold aisle?

    • Can I safely increase temp and save money?

    • How hot is the return temp?

    All good things to be thinking if you happening to have the time to sit and think. Everyone is busy. I get that. Everyone at AFCOM was moving fast through the exhibit areas – anxious to see what might exist in the “latest” and “greatest” of new technologies to help “increase efficiency“, “gain capacity” and “save “money“. But you know what, if you sit back – some of the most challenging problems can be solved with the simplest of tricks – dating back to the basics of air conditioning, air flow management and the laws of physics. Maybe this is why simple things like “Scotch on the Rocks” has survived for so long… It’s just a good thing, done right.

    Simple is good. Take some simple steps towards air flow management and temperature visibility and you might be surprised at what you see and what you can quickly fix your your data center environment!

    I’ll drink to that!

  • tjcanning 5:46 pm on March 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , PUE,   

    Energy Star or Death Star? 

    The goals of the program are to give organizations a greater incentive to improve the energy efficiency of their data centers, and to give them a way to track the results of efficiency initiatives over time, said Alexandra Sullivan, an EPA program engineer who described the effort at a recent green IT conference.

    Data centers that participate in the EPA program will use an online tool that ranks their efficiency on a scale of 1 to 100. Those that score 75 or higher can request an audit from the EPA, which awards qualified organizations the Energy Star certification.

    If you are an Enterprise IT or Facilities person – is this a kiss of death? I mean – is another “thing” that you will now have to deal with? Maybe you’ve just got PUE figured out, either by manually doing some readings or a little sub-metering and/or wireless-networked sense points and you thought all was good. Nope – it’s time for a new thing that will require you to use an “on-line” tool to determine you’re ranking and then if you hit the magical 75 – you can request an audit! So – are you the kind of person who likes to request “audits”? I can’t remember the last time I requested an IRS audit – and somehow this seems just as painful.

    Let’s hope not. I mean the real deal here is to help folks benchmark their data centers – gather a level of visibility around usage/cost/efficiency and in the end reduce energy consumption, increase existing capacity while maintaining or increasing service reliability. Right?

    So I hope this process will be friction-less for the data center early-adopter. We need folks to embrace this program, gain benefits in realizing their current in-efficiencies and prove to the rest of the F5000 that it is possible to clean up the data center and do a good thing.

    Thought #1   It would be really interesting for the EPA to publish the top 500 Energy Star certified companies.

    Thought #2  It would be really interesting to only award federal business to companies in the 85+ score category.

    Energy Star is coming… please don’t let it be a Death Star and destroy or de-rail your greening efforts…

  • tjcanning 6:08 pm on March 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , PUE,   

    Sustainability Ranking. Where Are You? 

    Wow – my phone carrier ranks last! After being a loyal Verizon customer for so many years and so many phone bills – what gives? The TVR report states the following:

    The Tomorrow’s Value Rating of the world’s largest information and communications technology (ICT) companies shows that sustainability leaders such as Vodafone, Nokia, HP and France Telecom are developing products and services to support the world’s response to climate change. The results of the Rating reflect the broader trend of ICT companies showing sustainability leadership.

    However, while the sector continues to push best practice in sustainability innovation, there is considerable room for improvement in its management of its direct environmental impacts.

    Also interesting to note:

    Management of direct environmental impacts is a weak spot

    While the sector continues to push best practice in sustainability innovation, its management of its direct environmental impacts leaves room for improvement. For example, while most companies have set CO2 emissions targets, the majority are struggling to achieve significant reductions. Panasonic is a notable exception to this rule.

    So, how about looking at the Data Center folks?

  • tjcanning 5:53 pm on February 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , PUE,   

    Energy Star or Rock Star for Data Centers? 

    Energy Star for data centers is coming.

    The US Environmental Protection Agency is wrapping up work on an Energy Star program for data centers that it hopes to launch in June, EPA. So rather than wait for June – I decided to launch for own Rock Star initiative and post a video about the need for enterprise greening and highlighting some use cases to get folks thinking. Success comes in small steps they say…  so does any energy savings initiative. Becoming a Rock Star does as well – so since this is my first video – it’s a little shaky in spots, I shortened the clips, my Canadian “out” seems to pop in a few places.  But heck, just like Jason Bourne in the “Bourne Identity” – I can work on releasing some sequels from time to time and via video – share my thoughts on the market, the challenges and of course the hype. Make sure you select the HD option in the top right hand corner. I look better in HD. :-) Posting a video of yourself is kinda scary to be honest – especially when you self create it. Is this what it’s like creating a Green Business Case? Kinda scary? Maybe – which is why I think this necessary step seems to be the stumbling block for most enterprises I speak with.

    My video is short and sweet. “More is less”  – this is how I try to deal with everything these days. Maybe the use cases help you think a little about some “small steps” you could take within your organization. Hopefully my “trailer” help you see the big picture. If you have any video suggestions – I’m all ears. I hope to post some viral videos shortly on YouTube as a way to start to increase the awareness and need for data center efficiency. Stay tuned…

  • tjcanning 7:28 pm on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Data Center Pulse, , PUE   

    What Is The Data Center Stack? 

    Now I like this. I  mean I  r-e-a-l-l-y  like this! Now, you’d have to know a little about my background to appreciate those comments – so for those of you who don’t know me – me let me share a few glimpses into my mysterious past. Back in the hay day of .dotcom and software start-ups – my first entree into the software start up world was in the middleware space. And yes – it was all about having a stack and being able to complete with the likes of IBM, BEA, and others to own the software infrastructure within an organization. Why did companies want stacks? Well, they didn’t necessarily want a stack – they just wanted the capabilities of a stack to solve the  integration and interoperability challenges that were slowing down their businesses

    The more I look at current data center environments – the more I see the need for integration. Now don’t get flipped out – I am not saying someone needs to design an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) or that SOA should finally arrive at the doorsteps of the data center. It has taken SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) a heck of a long time for IT to understand, expose and deliver these so desired “fined-grained services” so that composite applications could deliver that “WOW” factor to the business side of the enterprise and let those users realize a competitive and efficient business advantage.

    What does this stack look like? Is it a software stack?

    If you look at the stack – it’s a representation of all the “stuff” you need to worry about in the data center. Call it a blueprint or framework if you will. Data Center Blueprint 1.0! Now why do I like this? Because if the industry adopts and endorses a blueprint, framework or stack (you pick your favorite) then it will create a common language for vendors and customers to communicate. It also allows for the innovation and development of integration solutions to help weave together the various building blocks of the stack. From a vendor perspective – I would much rather share with a prospect “where” and “how” I fit into an architecture than to try and first understand/decipher 20 different customer created architectures.

    What’s missing in this diagram? API’s! Imagine if we could over time associate the various API’s for each of these blocks, both to expose the data and the associated metric for that block? Ya! now hat’s what I’m talking about!  – That would be a perfect world – wouldn’t Tom? Reality: This is tough – since you’ve got a mix of legacy and new – and some of that legacy is locked down tighter than Fort Knox and it ain’t going no where soon.  So yes – definite challenge. It has taken SOA the last 10 years to work its way across the IT application layer – could we ever see a common set of “Data Center Services”? A rich repository of all my power, environmental, server, storage etc… data and metrics –  all neatly exposed and available for application consumption? Can you see it? I can – but it is years away.

    The proposed framework is a step in the right direction. It could be the core building block stack for the data center. Adoption and endorsement determines fate in any type of effort towards standardization.

    Hats off to the Data Center Pulse guys! Good stuff!

  • tjcanning 6:17 pm on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    What is Sustainability? 

    I keep hearing about sustainability – so I just had to pony up $200 bucks and hit the San Jose Value-Based Sustainability event the other week. It was put on by the folks at Executive Council. Mind you – I am not a fan of any event that starts at 8:00 in San Jose – 101 or 280 at that time is not what I would classify as a “value-add ride” – but I did manage to get there in time to catch some key presentations. Who was there?  It was the heavy hitters of the fortune world – companies such as PG&E, Autodesk, SAP, Microsoft, IBM, Coca-Cola, UPS, 1E, Verdiem, EnerNOC, and Stirling Energy.

    What is Sustainability? If you are a Googler like me – the first place you go today is to Wikipedia for education. The Wikipedia folks will tells you that:

    Sustainable business, or green business, is enterprise that has no negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. Often, sustainable businesses have progressive environmental and human rights policies. In general, business is described as green if it matches the following four criteria:

    1. It incorporates principles of sustainability into each of its business decisions.[1]

    2. It supplies environmentally friendly products or services that replaces demand for nongreen products and/or services.[1]

    3. It is greener than traditional competition.[1]

    4. It has made an enduring commitment to environmental principles in its business operations.[1]

    Ok cool. I am down with that. This was the theme that was echoed at this event. I did find some posting quotes from the event on a cool site called Conference Bites. Let me share a few:

    “Metrics are still the holy grail in this (sustainability) space.”
    ~ Libby Reder, Head of Environmental Initiatives, eBay

    “We…need to get value by extracting it out of information, rather than out of the ground.”
    ~ Kathrin Winkler, VP of Sustainability, EMC

    I had a chance to briefly chat with Libby and Kathrin – it’s always refreshing to meet folks who are leaders in their respective spaces and who are also real and fun to chat with.

    The event was co-hosted by UPS – Bob Stoffel did a really nice job of sharing what sustainability really means within UPS – and as a long time UPS shipper – there is a large supply chain that must operate efficiently to keep those brown trucks rolling!

    How did I celebrate the mid morning event break – nothing better than a nice cold Coke!  Bryan Jacobs from Coca Cola (a fellow engineer I might add too) shared his thoughts on sustainability and of course over the course of the event –  I had to support his views by having multiple cokes on ice!

    There was a strong take away that I had from this event – and it was embedded in both Libby’s and Kathrin’s quotes. What was it? It was the word “Metrics”. If you want to do anything in the enterprise these days – you absolutely need to associate a metric with it. A metric tell you if you are wining, failing or somewhere in between when it comes to delivering on an initiative. It separates reality from vision. It separates execution from planning. I am going to start to hone in on metrics in the next couple of blog posts.

    A metric is only a number… so why is everyone is scared of them?

  • tjcanning 6:29 pm on January 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Carol Baroudi, , , Green IT For Dummies, PUE,   

    Green IT for Dummies 

    Happy 2010!

    If you are the kind of person who makes New Year’s resolutions – maybe you are thinking about being a better “green” person within your organization? The thing is – for most folks – just what does this really mean?

    I’ve become a big fan of simplicity and transparency. Both in sales process, sales execution and sales training. If you are trying to train yourself in something new – start with the simple stuff first!Case in point – this book which I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of from Carol Baroudi who you may recognize from the Aberdeen Group. Carol is a Green and Sustainability consultant – so she lives and breathes this stuff!

    I’m not that big a reader to be honest. I’m more of a scanner – so this book is good if you want to quickly get a grasp of what Green IT is also about and maybe some thoughts on how to drive these initiates within your organization.

    Part 3 of the book is titled “Greening the Data Center” – so I would draw your attention to this section and chapters:

    • Chapter 7: Laying the Foundation for Green Data Management
    • Chapter 8: Maximizing Data Center Efficiency
    • Chapter 9: Racking up Green Servers
    • Chapter 10: Cooling your Data Center
    • Chapter 11 Building a Green Storage System
    • Chapter 12: Grooming the Network for Green
    • Chapter 13: Using Virtualization

    Wow – you can quickly get the big picture as you read through these chapters of all the different aspects of the data center that “green” can influence.

    Cooling is the biggest cost in the data center – so chapter 10 has a section in “Benchmarking your Cooling System’s Efficiency” where we start to get into The Green Grid and PUE calculations.  It’s easy reading – and the sections are not designed to tire you out which is good!

    For anyone who is new to the notion of  “Greening the Enterprise Data Center” – this is a great book to help you get started. If you want to pick up a copy – just google it and the usual sources show up.  Thanks Carol for getting the word out!

  • tjcanning 3:44 pm on November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Data Center Hype Cycle. Where are you? 


    OK. I have been sitting on this graph in my WordPress account for awhile now. Time to unleash it to the world! I’m not sure if it helps frame the current state of enterprise adoption or if it ties to the new 2012 movie which follows the end of the world! I’m used to Gartner Group hype cycles. I used to follow them for the software infrastructure space, integration, web 2.0 and basically a lot of things. Are they accurate? Well it depends on your definition of accuracy and what established reference point you might want to use. They certainly make for some great discussion points with a customer.

    If we dig down on the graph – we see their are 5 phases as best described by my favorite site Wikipedia.

    A hype cycle in Gartner’s interpretation comprises five phases:

    1. “Technology Trigger” — The first phase of a hype cycle is the “technology trigger” or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest.
    2. “Peak of Inflated Expectations” — In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures.
    3. “Trough of Disillusionment” — Technologies enter the “trough of disillusionment” because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology.
    4. “Slope of Enlightenment” — Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the “slope of enlightenment” and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology.
    5. “Plateau of Productivity” — A technology reaches the “plateau of productivity” as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves in second and third generations. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether the technology is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market.

    Now that we all have a general understanding of the hype cycle phases – let look at how Gartner applies the hype cycle to the data center space. Here we go…

    As you can see, this graph is titled ” Data Center Power and Cooling Technologies” and has a heavy concentration of data points on the first slope of the “technology trigger” phase. We also see that “cooling management” and “power monitoring and management software” occur somewhere at the “peak of inflation” or a little further down the curve. As blue dots – the adoption period to mainstream is 5-10 years for cooling management (Wow! -now that too me seems way to long) and the white dots for monitoring are in the <less than 2 years. This I like.

    Why? Gartner is always ahead of the customer. I know this. I have lived this. If, according to this hype cycle, “power monitoring” is <2 years, then enterprises need to be investigating product, building business cases, deploying POC projects and basically starting to embrace this new technology  (I guess I should have used the word solution here… but you know what I mean). Some are. Some aren’t. It takes time and resources to bring something new in, get it deployed and showing value to the various stakeholder groups. In some enterprises this can be a real pain. Again, I know this, I have lived this. But, for those that do, you are tracking very well with the above hype cycle timing. Also – to me it’s like the Fram oil filter commercial – “You can pay me now or pay me later!” Any product that can help save you money – what would you want to wait to start investigating it value for your organization?

    The cycle is here. The data center map has been defined. Where are you in adoption and willingness to embrace and accelerate? Not all environments are the same, but the goals of driving energy efficiency should be the same and we all need to get started in some form or fashion.

    Is the data center hype cycle like the 2012 Myon calendar?  The death of your data center? Or could it be the creation of a new, green, energy efficient data center that is monitored and saves you real $$$. Don’t wait till December 21st to find out – get started now!

  • tjcanning 9:16 am on September 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , PUE   

    Dear Data Center, The MAN is Coming! 

    This blog is going heavy metal today! Warning: Stop reading now if you are not a metal fan! I have to post this as I thought it just fit so well. Let me explain…

    I had just finished reading a Mike Manos post on the fact the ‘MAN’ is coming…

    “Data center managers might not understand that once the legislation passes, in whichever form, they’ll be a significant contributor to carbon emissions and will fall under reporting requirements,” says Mike Manos, senior vice president of technical services at Digital Realty Trust, “I don’t think many data center managers see that coming or are aware of that.”

    Excellent post Mike! I see this an accelerator for data center optimization and the need for Facilities and IT to take action. Right? So just after reading this – I ended up going for a quick run to burn off some steam. I load my ipod shuffle from about 50gb of euro rock metal house music to help me run.. Low and behold – a 1996 Motorhead tune called “Broken” comes on and as I listen to the lyrics – it’s like a perfect match to the thoughts I have on Mike’s post! Check this out:

    You don’t know the trouble you’re in
    Linvin’ in paradise, livin’ in sin
    You better watch out baby one of these days
    Another man coming gonna change your ways

    Broken, broken truth must be spoken
    Can we be responsible, is someone keeping score
    Broken, broken when all guns are smoking
    Do you want to die then, according to the law
    Sunshine, moonshine, fire & flood
    Death come hungry to your neighbourhood
    You better watch out baby, one of these nights
    Somebody coming to shoot out your lights

    You can google the rest of the words but they really ring true to how most data centers are running today. Broken! Everyone is living in paradise without a care in the world for efficiency because no one is watching the hen house! Well this living in sin might come to an end if the Waxman-Markey energy cap-and-trade bill passes! Why?

    “But when these initiatives pass, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’re not structured for reporting or efficiency because facilities doesn’t get what you can do from a technology point to optimize the data center, and the data center managers don’t see power bills to understand where they’ll have to go to meet their energy use targets,” he adds.

    Wow! This sounds like a SOX compliance/governance wave all over again!  I love regulations. It makes customers take action and it allow vendors to solve problems and make customer happy. Its a win-win!

    Now that is music to my ears!

  • tjcanning 5:07 pm on September 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , PUE   

    It’s Costs Money to Be Cool! 


    Just came across the graphic which I thought was a great visual to show the cost break down in the dc. Cooling costs are approximately 40% for this customer – Nvidia. This is real. 40% is a big number – Maybe time to check out ASHRAE and start saving money?

  • tjcanning 1:28 am on August 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Data Center Efficiency: Facilities Wins! 


    The results are in and Facilities won! Congratulations!

    So here is the deal – if you are going into the Green IT space, specifically data center, it appears that Facilities and following the almighty dollar (Hello Mr. CFO in 2nd place) is the place to focus. My little twtpoll experiment – using the notion of crowd-sourcing and seeking the wisdom of the audience – would lead us to believe that Facilities at 41% and the CFO at 27% are the folks that really care about energy efficiency in the data center. Do you agree? Do I agree?

    Well, I have  to say that over the past few weeks I’ve been reaching out to folks, at different levels and across different types of organizations. Hey – maybe you’re reading this and you gotten a vm from me! Ha – gotta love pure 100% cold calling! Ask me if I like pain? Well – it’s not that tough when you remember that:

    Hey – this is my planet too! So if you guys want to waste energy – then I got an issue and you need to hear me out!

    Back to the poll… Greening the data center is definitely new for some folks. And for some – new things represent a big challenge. I had an interesting conversation the other day with a energy expert at a big organization (sorry – I don’t drop names) and he was quick to validate the diferent “rate of change” that IT and Facilities live in. If you’re in IT – it’s all about server refresh, get faster stuff, make stuff smaller, add more blinking lights to stuff and basically everyone lives and embraces “change”. It’s like a hit of acid. Compare that to Facilities and it’s like “what really changes there?” Not so much right? It’s not like I want to rip and replace CRAH’s every 6 months, I can’t virtualize jack so I’m missing that fun, my chiller just makes alot of noise and weighs 8 tons – so I ain’t touching that! So, it’s a change and a challenge to all of a sudden drop this whole “Green Data Center” on the lap of Facilities and expect that everyone is willing to embrace the notion and action it immediately in their environment. The folks that can and do – Hats off! The folks that haven’t quite engaged – maybe experiment with small steps?  Based on the poll – we know you care!

    Question – what happened to IT in this poll? 1 lousy vote?  Comments please!

  • tjcanning 9:32 am on August 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: American Data Center, , , , PUE   

    The American Data Center Contest! 

    contestIf you think you’ve got the right stuff – then I am extending an open invitation to participate in this season’s “American Data Center” contest! I’m sure everyone is familiar with American Idol, so in a similar fashion, I am looking for the most wannabe energy conscious enterprise data center to step forward and take stage!

    Call me crazy, but let me describe the contest. I don’t think anything like this has ever done before, but then again, if you told me 5 years ago I would be tweeting 140 characters – I would of called you crazy!

    Contest Details:

    • Goal: Find the best candidate enterprise data center and team for a real world energy usage pilot
    • The Rules: You need to be serious about saving energy and have a enterprise data center that could use some efficiency gains
    • The Challenge: Be willing to instrument your data center and collect power and cooling data with non-invasive sensors
    • My Commitment: I’ll invest the time, instrumentation, and energy savings expertise to make you a corporate rock star!
    • Your Commitment: Your time, data center and current energy challenges. Maybe ASHRAE has you thinking?
    • The Fear: You are going to measure real power, cooling and gain visibility into your data center environment. Measurement creates fear in some people. It’s like stage fright. You’ll need to overcome this initial fear and be adventuresome. You also need to like math – since we’re going to be doing some calculations!
    • The Reward: Visibility and real data that you can action and use to increase your power efficiency. That means “YOU WILL SAVE MONEY!!!”
    • Sign Up: Contact me on Linkedin or send an email to discuss further. (both are listed in the top RHS of my blog too)

    Super Stars Only!

    If you are real serious and have the interest, then I’d like to explore adding a twist of social media to this contest. I do understand enterprise constraints concerning PID’s, NDA’s etc – but if you could share some basic findings or general best practices – this would be helpful to others. Enterprises need good examples and stories to sell upper management. As an example, imagine a YouTube channel that hosts a weekly 1-2 minute video on what we are doing, experiencing and learning. Nothing complicated, raw format that just shares our adventure. Remember – this is about something good – saving energy and letting others know that there are things they can do in their data center. Good PR and good corporate thought leadership is what I am talking about!

    Btw…the interaction and relationship between customer/vendor is changing. If you follow Social Media, Enterprise 2.0 or Sales 2.0 – collaboration and transparency are the new trends to adopt. This contest represents a step in that direction and I hope you appreciate my approach in looking for a great data center candidate to work with.

    Reach me directly to discuss further!

  • tjcanning 8:38 am on August 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CFO, CIO, , , PUE   

    Who Cares About Data Center Efficiency? 

    pollThis the question I ask and it shall be the community that helps answer this question! I thought it might be interesting to see what views the folks in twitter universe have on this topic. Seems like there is a lot of talk these days around data center energy savings – but talk is cheap. Who really cares and who can take action? Let’s go to the people and find out!

    I’m using Twtpoll for this exercise. It’s a cool little on-line twitter poll application that shows up branded (just like my twitter profile). You can cast your vote and also view results at http://twtpoll.com/jr3ddd

    It’s going to run for a week and then we’ll see what new insights we have on this topic. Feel free to re-tweet …enjoy!

  • tjcanning 1:03 pm on July 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , PUE   


    ASHRAE. Enjoy Summer.

    If you thought your data center was just as cold as San Francisco in the summer, that might just be about to change. ASHRAE, which stands for “The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers” has some new recommendations for all you cost conscious data center folks!

    “It’s ok to run a little warmer! I say, it’s ok to run a little warmer!!”

    Every data center I have ever been in has been cold, noisy, and pretty much a place to get software installed, hardware plugged in, and then get the heck out of there and have the rest of the meeting where it is warm and quiet. ASHRAE is a game changer and causing lots of interesting articles to pop up all over the place.

    So what do you need to know about ASHRAE?

    The inlet air temp range has been updated to reflect modern times. From ASHRAE’s 2008 Extended Environment Envelope document Page 1. Here’s the deal:

    These recommended conditions as well as the allowable conditions refer to the inlet air entering the datacom equipment. Specifically it lists for data centers in the ASHRAE classes 1 and 2, a recommended environment range of 20 to 25 degrees C and a relative humidity (RH) range of 40-55%

    Basically – you don’t need to freeze the data center like an ice cube anymore and you can start to evaluate a higher operating environment. It does not mean you go change all the set points over night and start cooking everything like a Weatherford fired BBQ. Naw.. you need ot be able to understand what effect these neds ranges will have and be able to plan accordingly if you plan to adopt these new recommendations. Things to consider:

    • What is my current baseline?
    • How can I measure it if I don’t?
    • How can I visualize the effects of increased temperature?
    • How do I ensure I don’t create hot spots
    • How can I adjust/refine set points to optimize?
    • Can I associate changes to OpEx expenses and show an ROI?

    It’s like a new opportunity is present with ASHRAE to determine and define a new operating environment that your data center can safely operate in, and but reducing the draws on cooling – be able to save money in the process. Makes sense to me. Of course, raising inlet temp, and based on delta T, the idea is not to be cooking the hot aisle beyond control or containment. You still need to be able to have humans survive a trip or perform work  in the data center. ASHRAE does not apply to humans.

    Are you a fan of ASHRAE’s new recommendations? Have you taken any action to realize an ROI based on these new ranges?

    Fan of ASHRAE

    • vburke 8:26 pm on August 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Spot on on the human factor of the hot aisle, especially if you’ve got great hot aisle containment.


  • tjcanning 7:50 am on July 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Green Grid, PUE   

    pueGot PUE?

    You would think this is easy to figure out right?

    But, how come I only see major enterprises promoting their PUE? I mean we always see PUE (and it’s inverse cousin DCiE) being compared to MPG in green presentations – and every car manufacturer and individual seems to have an appreciation and understanding of MPG – so where are all the enterprise when it comes to understanding their PUE?

    Check Grid Grid for the definition and we’ve got the cool chart on the left and it looks pretty simple. Just get your numbers and do the math!!! I mean the math is simple right?

    Oh… Now I see where the problem lies… getting the numbers?

    From the Metrics and Measurements page you can get a quick definition or rather purpose of PUE:

    The Green Grid proposed the use of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and its reciprocal, Data Center Efficiency (DCE) metrics, which enable data center operators to quickly estimate the energy efficiency of their data centers, compare the results against other data centers, and determine if any energy efficiency improvements need to be made.

    If I dust off my old Electrical Engineering books:

    Power = Voltage x Current

    Wow – this simple right? Nope. For a lot of data centers – there still remains a lot of mystery surrounding power visibility and consumption. How do you measure and how do you aggregate across all the different data center assets (and across different vendors, console, meters etc) so you can get a picture of what the heck is going on. Don’t get me wrong – if you have a state of the art, one vendor solution – you might some luxuries that most enterprise data centers don’t – but for the average data center environment – it’s probably a big challenge. What’s happening at the rack or circuit level still remains a buried treasure. If you’re reading this and you agree – drop me a comment. Validation is a good thing!

    Confession. I use Twitter. How shocking in this day of social media! My user name is PUE_DCiE. You can check me out at http://twitter.com/PUE_DCiE. I though it would be good to share just what that user name was geared towards. Thanks Green Grid for creating this definition! Now I have a cool user name.

  • tjcanning 5:23 am on July 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , PUE,   


    Green IT 1.0 – Adopt Today!

    So, I did not invent the chart of the left – I have to thank the smart folks at Forrester Research who obviously spent a lot of time thinking about this. When I first saw it posted on Greener Computing, I thought I was looking at a traditional Gartner Group Hype Cycle and was in shock -

    “OMG! Has hype already hit Green IT?”

    Thankfully – this chart is an “Ecosystem Phase” chart (although is it really that much different than a hype cycle I ask?).

    It shows the evolution of IT technologies (which I will refer to as “Services”) from the phases of “creation > survival > growth > equilibrium > decline”. According to the post, Green 1.0 Technologies refers to IT infrastructure – so the list pretty much makes sense and should ring a bell with all of us.

    Green IT 1.0 Services

    • 10 GbE (10 gigabit per second Ethernet)
    • Clean energy to power data centers
    • Client virtualization
    • Cloud computing services
    • Data center outsourcing and colocation services
    • IT asset disposal and recycling services
    • IT energy measurement
    • Localized cooling
    • Managed printing services
    • PC power management software
    • Server power management software
    • Server virtualization
    • Solid-state disk (SSD)
    • Storage capacity optimization
    • Thin clients

    Wow! So, if you’re a top notch, on-the-ball IT person – you’ve now got a lot of things to be thinking and worried about! Life is not so simple any more – if you decide to actually engage in helping understand and optimize these services within your IT infrastructure. The question I ask is,

    “Where the heck do you start?”

    Any time I have seen a new technology or evolution (or sometimes revolution!) occur within an organization, it is by some smart and ambitious early adopter who decides to champion a cause that they believe will help the organization. Most times – he/she does this on their own time and by pure passion. With so many Green IT 1.0 Services – does this theory still hold water? Or does senior management need to stand behind IT and be supportive of the time it takes to investigate these proposed services?

    With so much focus on Corporate Sustainability, Green IT,  Green *.*, PUE and other flag waving initiatives – I really hope that IT folks are given the  extra cycles and rewards to spend the time it takes to explore and evaluate Green 1.0 Services.

    After all, Green IT 2.0 is just around the corner…

    The full report, “TechRadar For I&O Professionals: Green IT 1.0 Technologies, Q2 2009″ is available for purchase from Forrester Research.

    Add Comment
  • tjcanning 11:29 am on July 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , PUE   

    37454602Green IT. It Starts With Research.

    Time to go back to school and get up to speed on the current state of Green IT. I’m very curious about the current state of mind of  “Green Data Center Professionals”. After Goggling around a bit, I came across John Lamb’s book titled “The Greening of IT” and though this would be a good topic for my second blog post. Just so you know – this blog is NOT going to be a book review site – but this book does serves well as a soft introduction to helping both myself and IT folks get started.

    Why do I like this book? I haven’t even read it yet – but I liked the quick on-line description. If you read “Greening Your IT, for newbies and Experts” it provides a nice intro to the book and it was this walk through that got me thinking. Thanks to Matthew Wheeland for that post. I have picked up the book and it is currently queued for my reading.

    Getting started on anything is always easier if you have a plan or map right? Greening the data center shouldn’t be any different. But it’s new, maybe not everyone is on board and the first few steps might take someone who we refer to as ‘an early adopter” to get things rolling. Reminds me of the early software infrastructure days. I lived through those times  as IT moved to J2EE app servers, service oriented architects promoted the value of re-usable web services and those early adopters became the early transformers (sorry, nothing to do with the movie!) of the organizations. They took small departmental steps to help realize the value of their efforts which would scale and have an overall corporate impact. Sounds like the same could apply to realizing data center efficiencies as we test out a single cold aisle containment, or a fine grained measurement of a single rack for power and thermal usage. Those single tests and benefits could scale out and have a tremendous corporate impact on the bottom line. Ask anyone looking to sign off on any project today – and it has to impact the bottom line!

    Simple steps are key today in any complex process. SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) proved that real quickly. Maybe we can learn from that process as we investigate Green IT.

    As mentioned by John Lamb in the above post – the process of “Greening IT” should be broken up into some simple and measurable steps:

    • Get educated – Goggle “Green IT”
    • Communicate internally – Get executive sponsorship
    • Baseline – Know where you are today
    • Plan – Map out server consolidation/chiller analysis/temp increase tasks

    I get this plan. It is simple. You can measure it and gain support for it internally. But how many folks are actively doing this today?

    This is the magic question I hope to answer over time!

  • tjcanning 12:52 am on June 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , PUE,   

    community-globeCSR. Getting started…

    Welcome to my first blog post. CSR is a key topic topic these days. According to wikipedia – CSR is defined as

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), also known as corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, responsible business, sustainable responsible business (SRB), or corporate social performance,[1] is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ideally, CSR policy would function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby business would monitor and ensure their adherence to law, ethical standards, and international norms. Business would embrace responsibility for the impact of their activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. Furthermore, business would proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. Essentially, CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making, and the honoring of a triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit.

    CSR applies to the data center as helping green the data center definitely affects the bottom line. Power and HVAC requirements for any enterprise data center need to be visualized and analyzed as part of the overall corp sustainability initiatives. More to follow shortly…

    • euandus3 9:43 pm on October 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting post. I wonder whether companies don’t use CSR as window-dressing…when it is convenient for them. Hence I think the movement should not be a substitute for government regulation. I write about this at: thhttp://euandus3.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/corporate-social-responsibility/

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