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    Monday
    May102010

    Not Calculating PUE ROI, 1 of 9 Top Data Center Mistakes

    Lee Technologies sent over their Top 9 data center mistakes paper, and I liked it right from the start as they made the point people don't calculate an ROI for PUE performance.  PUE is closest to telling an efficiency of a data center which to a layman is the closest we have for data centers for a MPG, but who specifies a high MPG number and doesn't think about how much it costs for the extra MPG above the norm.

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    The Top 9 Mistakes in Data Center Planning: The Total Cost of Ownership Approach to Building or Expanding Data Centers

    Why do so many data center builds and expansions fail? This white paper answers the question by revealing the top 9 mistakes organizations make when designing and building new data center space, and examines an effective way to achieve success through the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) approach.

    I spend too much time writing for other people, and I could go on how I would rewrite the paper, but overall an excellent job bringing up issues few think about.

    The top three points that I think would get people's attention are ironically the last 3 of 9 tips.

    # 7

    Big Mistake #7:

    Misunderstanding PUE

    Many times, organizations set a PUE goal with all the proper intentions
    but the calculation does not take into account all factors that should be
    considered.


    You need to fully understand what the ROI is on capital expenses to
    reach your goals. You need to ask yourself, what is the TC O relative to
    the target PUE?

    #8 has three parts, and I  like this one best as this hidden cost of LEED is why builders and consultants push LEED.  People think they are getting LEED for free, because they are not counting the cost of certification.

    Big Mistake #8:
    Misunderstanding LEED certification
    To date, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has not set specific
    criteria for data center LEED criteria.

    There will be costs related to receiving certification. Failure to take
    these related expenses into account will impact your TCO and
    business decision planning processes.

    And #9, an overall problem with data center design.

    Big Mistake #9:
    Overcomplicated designs
    As stated earlier, simple is better. Regardless of the target tier rating
    you have chosen, there are dozens of ways to design an effective
    system. Too often, redundancy goals drive too much complexity. Add
    in the multiple approaches to building a modular system and things get
    complicated fast.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    May102010

    Triple Bottom Line - social, economic, and environment responsibility, can BP be Green in light of the Gulf Spill?

    Being green is an overused term.  Many of the enlightened speak of triple bottom line.

    The triple bottom line (abbreviated as "TBL" or "3BL", and also known as "people, planet, profit" or "the three pillars"[1]) captures an expanded spectrum of values and criteria for measuring organizational (and societal) success: economic, ecological and social. With the ratification of the United Nations and ICLEI TBL standard for urban and community accounting in early 2007, this became the dominant approach to public sector full cost accounting. Similar UN standards apply to natural capital and human capital measurement to assist in measurements required by TBL, e.g. the ecoBudget standard for reporting ecological footprint.

    BP is claiming its Green.

    BP touts itself as 'green,' but faces PR disaster with 'BP oil spill'

    GALLERY

    Deepwater Horizon explosion in Gulf of Mexico sends oil slick toward U.S. coastline

    Cleanup and containment efforts continue after an oil platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil is leaking into the water at a rate of up to 5,000 barrels a day.

    By Paul Farhi

    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    What do you call a gigantic man-made disaster that is threatening to despoil the ecosystems and wreck the economies of the Gulf Coast? The answer is important, if you happen to be one of the companies responsible for it.

    The massive slick spreading toward Louisiana has gone by several names since crude oil began gushing from a damaged drilling rig on April 20. Media accounts have referred to it as "the Gulf oil spill," "the Deepwater Horizon spill" and the "Gulf Coast disaster."

    President Obama, leaving little doubt about whom he considers responsible for the epic mess, put a brand name on it in remarks in Louisiana on Sunday. The president dubbed it "the BP oil spill," after the company (formerly British Petroleum) that leased the now-damaged drilling platform. The Environmental Protection Agency refers to it the same way in its official pronouncements.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    May102010

    The Greenest Data Center may be the one you don't build

    A regular question is what is a green data center.  One simple answer could be I was able to avoid building a new one.  Zero carbon footprint is easy to achieve with no building.

    TriplePundit discusses Dell, HP, and Wells Fargo efforts to not build a data center.

    IT Giants: The Greenest Data Center is the One That Isn’t Built

    By Sheila Samuelson | May 10th, 2010 View Comments

    Image source: Data Center Knowledge

    Last month, Dell made the somewhat shocking announcement that it may never build another data center. The company was referring to the fact that it’s doubled its workload using no extra power and building no new data centers, simply by squeezing more capacity out of its existing servers. With an industry standard for data server utilization at about 12 to18 percent, there is ample room for improvement. What Dell realized was that by getting rid of its underutilized assets and swapping out the oldest and most outdated 25 percent of servers each year for the newest virtualization models, it would easily recoup its capital expenditures through reduced energy costs.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    May102010

    Riding the Green Data Center Waves, Surfing is the new career

    Lately I have been thinking about "Waves" as a metaphor.  I can thank the catalyst for the idea from my daughter who wanted to make her school science project "What makes waves?"  She was thinking it was boats make waves as they go by our house and go faster than they should for a no wake zone that many ignore.  But, I also explained that there are many more waves created by the wind, creating wind waves.

    They usually result from the wind blowing over a vast enough stretch of fluid surface. Some waves in the oceans can travel thousands of miles before reaching land. Wind waves range in size from small ripples to huge rogue waves.[1]

    She got it when I shot this video from our house.

    This got me thinking about methods that could use waves.  I implemented a big wave-picking system in Apple Computer Distribution when Apple hired me for my distribution logistics expertise, increasing productivity over 100%.  The same ideas are being used finally in IT buying racks and containers of equipment, looking efficiencies in a wave-picking method.

    Wave Picking is an application of a Short Interval Scheduling, to assign the workload into a intervals (waves) to allow management to coordinate the several parallel and sequential activities to complete the work. The Wave data includes the workload by order or function (case picking, repack picking, pallet movement, pick position replenishment, packing, etc.) providing management the information to calculate staff requirements and assign staff by function, with the expectation that the work in each function, within each wave, can be started and be completed at about the same time. There are two basic planning elements and benefits of Wave Picking.

    1. To organize the sequence of orders and assignment to waves, consistent with routing, loading and planned departure times of shipping vehicles or production requirements, etc, to reduce the space required for shipping dock handling to assemble orders and load; and
    2. To assign staff to each wave and function within a wave, with the expectation that all the work assigned to each wave will be completed within the wave period, providing management with the ability to monitor and manage performance throughout the day, and respond in a timely way to problems that occur, and more effectively utilize the staffing throughout the shift.

    Another way to think about waves is being a surfer.  Seth Godin just posted on "Surfing is the new career" and uses the wave metaphor as well.

    Surfing is the new career

    Three months ago I wrote about farming and hunting. It seems, though, that the growth industry of our generation is surfing.

    Talk to surfers and they'll explain that the entire sport comes down to the hunt for that blissful moment that combines three unstable elements in combination: the wave is just a little too big to handle, the board is going just a little too fast, and the ride could end at any moment.

    And explains how some are making their careers using a Surfing method.

    We see successful musicians and writers do this all the time. Now, though, it's not unusual to watch someone surf in their development of shareware, or in the videos they post online or risks they take in their personal blog.

    So many of the conversations I have every day could easily be replaced with, "so, where's the next wave? Tell me about your last one..."

    This is actually a pretty good description of the method I use to figure out where there are Green Data Center waves.  Checking out different areas, people who are doing great work, learning from others mistakes.  Keep on moving and practicing.

    Thanks to my daughter I think about waves more.  Also, here is her video, since I already posted about her brother as inspiration, and she would be mad if she read my blog and I didn't say how she is an inspiration too.  :-)

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    May102010

    Google & Microsoft adoption of Containers and Cloud Computing has a common pattern - cost containment

    Cloud Computing has reached record levels of media interest and confusion.  Containers had a lot of interest in the data center industry and there are some efforts like Cisco to combine cloud computing and containers.

    Cisco targets Data Center Containers for Federal/Defense market saves 50% capital and 30% operating costs

    Containers have gone through its hype phase, and now we'll see how many start buying containers.  There is some new media coverage on Cisco's move in containers.

    Cisco claims that by purchasing a portable data center—which cost around $1.2 million for a 40-foot, fully loaded model and some $600,000 for a 20-footer—an enterprise can save 50 percent in capital expenses and 30 percent in operating expenses compared with a similar-sized, permanent land-based facility. But those are very general numbers.

    But what clicked in conversations this past 4 days is there is another way to view why Google and Microsoft both are using containers and cloud computing.

    Cost Containment.

    Process of maintaining organizational costs within a specified budget; restraining expenditures to meet organizational or project financial targets.

    Data Center Containers are enclosures of compute allowing a more accurate cost accounting of IT.  Much easier than thousands of feet of white space with power and cooling systems that need to be allocated across the load put in the space.

    Cloud computing is a virtual enclosure of compute that you pay for as you go.  Easy and smaller increments of cost containment IT.

    Both of these solutions support better management of budgets.

    Cloud computing means so many different things to different people, and what almost all miss is this is a way to adopt a cost containment mindset.  There are other ways to put cost containment in IT and the data center that are even better than Cloud Computing as there is more to IT systems than cost.

    Click to read more ...