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    Friday
    Apr232010

    Does having the Rights mean it is Right?

    Part of the difficulty of changing people's behavior to be green, taking more sustainable actions is they have the Rights to do what they are doing.  It is not illegal.  For the US, The Bill of Rights is a foundation of American thinking.

    The Bill of Rights plays a key role in American law and government, and remains a vital symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation.

    There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that says you cannot be an energy hog, wasting the Earth's resources, polluting the water for downstream users.

    The Clean Water Act may be one of the most influential laws changing your Rights, making it illegal to pollute the waters.

    The Clean Water Act is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution.

    Newsweek had an article explaining what is saving the planet is not our individual actions, but regulation and legislation.  The article starts poking fun that people are shopping to show they are green.

    On the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Let’s ... Go Shopping!

    Buying green and changing personal behavior won't save the planet.

    PHOTOS
    Progress Check

    On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, NEWSWEEK looks at how far we've come, and how far we have yet to go, in protecting the planet.

    By Sharon Begley | Newsweek Web Exclusive

    Apr 21, 2010

    With apologies to a cliché that predates the advent of Earth Day by a year, it is easy being green. Too easy. From adorable reusable shopping bags and organic clothing to hemp shower curtains (no nasty petroleum-based vinyl liner!) and "natural is now fun!" beauty products for girls, the proliferation of green products makes doing our bit for the planet a blast, since Americans can combine environmentalism with their favorite sport, shopping. Indeed, a Gallup poll released this month finds that large majorities of Americans are shopping for the good of the planet: 76 percent said they'd bought a product specifically because they thought it was better for the environment.

    Then makes the point the biggest environmental change is not from individuals, but groups.

    As my colleague Ian Yarett documents in his progress report on the environment, every example of major environmental progress—reducing acid rain, improving air quality, restoring the ozone layer—has been the result of national legislation or a global treaty. We reduced acid rain by restricting industry's sulfur emissions, not by all going out and sprinkling bicarb on sensitive forests and lakes. Leaded gasoline was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1996, not by everyone choosing to buy cars that run on unleaded. Ozone-chomping CFCs were banned by the 1987 Montreal Protocol, not by everyone deciding to forgo spray cans and air conditioning.

    The gases had to be banned, people. All environmental progress has come through national- and international-level regulation—to be blunt, by forcing people and industry to stop doing environmentally bad things and start doing environmentally good things, not by relying on individuals' green good will or even the power of the marketplace.

    What would happen if environmental law was part of the Bill of Rights?  The Earth has rights that are equal or greater than individual rights.  Right now the Earth does not get paid for use of its resources.

    Is it Right, if you have the Rights?

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Apr222010

    Directory of USA Fiber Network Providers

    Power generation and Fiber are top issues is data center site selection. Curious I found this site as a useful Directory of Network Maps based on the providers.  The list is over 30 providers, so there is still manual work to go through all of them, but at least this is a starting point.  Here are the first 11.

    Company
    Network Map

    360Networks
    Interactive Map

    Abovenet
    Network Maps

    AT&T
    Domestic OC-768, See International Maps

    BT Global Services
    Network Map

    CenturyTel
    Network Map

    China Telecom
    Network Map

    Cogent Communications
    See International Maps

    Covad
    Network Map

    Cox Business
    Interactive Map

    Darkstrand
    Interactive Map

    Global Crossing
    See International Maps

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Apr222010

    What am I doing on Earth Day? Working on a solution that will change the data center industry

    Earth Day in many ways is a market event.  A day to celebrate the successes over 40 years.  Politicians, environmentalist, vendors all have the chance to use today to market and promote how effective they are.

    What am i doing today?  I have set up a 1/2 day meeting between 4 companies to discuss a solution that will change the data center industry, allowing people to see the impact of their actions more clearly.  Answering the difficult question "what is sustainable?"

    An overly enthusiastic focus on efficiency has created food production that has bad environmental impacts and bad tasting food.  Over the last 30 days my most popular blog post is the one I wrote on Sustainable Farming.

    Mar 26, 2010

    Sustainable Farming Method applied to Sustainable Data Centers, Dan Barber's entertaining how I fell in love with a fish, it's about relationships

    This is a video that has 5 stars. It is entertaining, funny and educational.

    Here is Huffington post article about the video.

    Dan Barber: How I Fell in Love With a Fish

    Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie's honeymoon he's enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.

    The group I am meeting with today gets what Dan Barber presents.  It's not about energy efficiency which is a top data center method, it's about what is sustainable.

    I'll be able to write more about what we are doing in the future, but it is time to go to the meeting and I need to catch the bus to downtown Seattle.

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Apr222010

    LEED - the Logo Program for a Green Data Center? Not necessarily

    The popularity using LEED to identify Green Data Centers has been interesting to watch.  I had the opportunity to take the LEED exam and add LEED AP to my business card.  But, this is where my renegade/contrarian side kicks in.  I saw the exam as a waste of time, having a LEED associated with what I work on.

    Why am I negative on LEED?  Because it is a Logo program where if you meet the criteria you get a logo you can have on your building.  A good demonstration of the problem is in this FastCompany article.

    The problems are several. Critics argue that the USGBC ignores important geographical differences, attaching as much importance to water conservation in Washington as in Arizona. For that matter, every feature on the LEED checklist is awarded the same value--so a builder gets the same credit for installing a bike rack as for harvested-rain cooling, regardless of their true impact. But the biggest issue is cost. Design and construction reviews required for LEED certification can cost many thousands of dollars.

    These are all good points, and the biggest one I agree with is cost.  Why is LEED so popular in the Data Center industry.  Because of the money made by the people who promote and market LEED.  What is the ROI on LEED?  People convince you LEED Silver isn't enough, Gold is the new minimum, and you should go for Platinum.

    Uhhh? What is the ROI?  For the consultants, it is an awesome ROI, spending more time in billable hours discussing alternatives to get more points.  Customers feeling like they are getting something as they get another point for waterless urinals and bike racks - key features that are required data centers. :-)  A lower water use cooling system doesn't count as much as waterless urinals even though the water use is probably 10,000 times more.

    What happens if you did what Cornell did and built to LEED standards but didn't get certified?

    A Different Shade of Green

    A Different Shade of Green

    Certifiable Cornell's Alice Cook House, the first of five nearly identical dorms.

    Knockoff Construction of a new dorm, Hans Bethe Hall, which has the same green specs but won't be LEED-certified.

    Cornell asked that question.

    That's why some are looking for ways to circumvent the official process. By the time Cornell University completed the first of five nearly identical dorms in 2004, it had paid $300,000 in consultant and submission fees to get LEED status. Now, it's using that building as a blueprint for the other four--each featuring vegetated roofs, spaces with natural light, and a glycol heat exchanger. They're certifiable, just not certified.

    READER RIFF

    “If one designs with LEED standards, the resulting building will save you money while almost secondarily helping the environment. A savvy businessperson could only make one choice. ” --Lisa L. Reeves

    On Earth Day when LEED data centers are a top topic. I am not going to contribute to listing those data centers that make others feel like they need to spend a bunch of money to put a LEED logo on their building.

    I've watched this go on for years when I worked at Microsoft and had various roles in Windows Logo Programs.  Microsoft was able to work the system as vendors knew their customers expect a Windows Logo on the box.  Which is a masterful demonstration of using a Brand to market to customers.

    Windows Logo Program

    *

    Windows Logo Program: Overview

    The Windows Logo Program is designed to address the current and future market needs of customers using the Windows platform. The Windows logo signifies the compatibility and reliability of systems and devices with Windows operating system. It gives customers confidence that your product is thoroughly tested with Microsoft-provided tools and ensures a good user experience.

    The Windows Logo Program helps partners to innovate and bring a premium experience to market, thereby improving their ability to increase market share. The program strives to continuously improve its processes, responsiveness, and partner satisfaction.

    LEED is a marketing program.

    Imagine how greener a data center would be if the same amount of money spent for LEED certification was spent on reducing the overall environmental impact.  But, there is no Logo for this.  Just the satisfaction you used your money for a better purpose than being LEED certified.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Apr202010

    Emerging Market Data Centers, what should they look like?

    The Economist has a 14 page section on Emerging Markets and points out the pace of business innovation.

    A special report on innovation in emerging markets

    The world turned upside down

    First break all the rules

    Easier said than done

    Grow, grow, grow

    Here be dragons

    New masters of management

    The power to disrupt

    A special report on innovation in emerging markets

    The world turned upside down

    The emerging world, long a source of cheap labour, now rivals the rich countries for business innovation, says Adrian Wooldridge (interviewedhere)

    Apr 15th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

    IN 1980 American car executives were so shaken to find that Japan had replaced the United States as the world’s leading carmaker that they began to visit Japan to find out what was going on. How could the Japanese beat the Americans on both price and reliability? And how did they manage to produce new models so quickly? The visitors discovered that the answer was not industrial policy or state subsidies, as they had expected, but business innovation. The Japanese had invented a new system of making things that was quickly dubbed “lean manufacturing”.

    This special report will argue that something comparable is now happening in the emerging world. Developing countries are becoming hotbeds of business innovation in much the same way as Japan did from the 1950s onwards. They are coming up with new products and services that are dramatically cheaper than their Western equivalents: $3,000 cars, $300 computers and $30 mobile phones that provide nationwide service for just 2 cents a minute. They are reinventing systems of production and distribution, and they are experimenting with entirely new business models. All the elements of modern business, from supply-chain management to recruitment and retention, are being rejigged or reinvented in one emerging market or another.

    Coincidentally, a Microsoft friend who is based in China just introduced me to a clean energy entrepreneur in China.  We had a quick conversation on the opportunities for data center innovation in emerging markets, and it got me thinking about the Economist articles more.

    Here is the latest ClustrMaps showing the WW readership of GreenM3.  The readership is significant in emerging market countries.image

    One of the other articles I liked is "First Break the Rules"  To be innovative requires a willingness to break the rules.  Which many times is a forbidden approach in enterprises.  Consider the post I wrote on the Social Security Administration.  An insider said, the SSA is evaluating hot and cold aisles, and is not convinced it will work.  I don't expect to be doing any work with the SSA any time soon.  :-)

    First break all the rules

    The charms of frugal innovation

    Apr 15th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

    GENERAL ELECTRIC’S health-care laboratory in Bangalore contains some of the company’s most sophisticated products—from giant body scanners that can accommodate the bulkiest American football players to state-of-the-art intensive-care units that can nurse the tiniest premature babies. But the device that has captured the heart of the centre’s boss, Ashish Shah, is much less fancy: a hand-held electrocardiogram (ECG) called the Mac 400.

    The device is a masterpiece of simplification. The multiple buttons on conventional ECGs have been reduced to just four. The bulky printer has been replaced by one of those tiny gadgets used in portable ticket machines. The whole thing is small enough to fit into a small backpack and can run on batteries as well as on the mains. This miracle of compression sells for $800, instead of $2,000 for a conventional ECG, and has reduced the cost of an ECG test to just $1 per patient.

    Can you imagine taking this same approach to data center systems?

    I am looking forward to discuss what Emerging Market Data Centers should look like.

    Click to read more ...