Does Green Data Center Initiative work in Japan?

I ran into the ZDNET article

Hitachi tests its own green IT theories with new data center project

Hitachi Group is celebrating Earth Day with the groundbreaking of an expansion to its data center in Yokohama, Japan.

The new wing boasts technology advances that are part of the massive technology company’s CoolCenter50 project. It also plays into the company’s corporatewide Harmonious Green Plan, which calls for it to reduce 330,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2012 through various green IT products.

Hitachi’s green data center design plays off its own software and hardware ideas from all over the green IT spectrum, including storage virtualization and thin provisioning, data deduplication software, and its “ecology” server.

Here’s a visual depiction of the data center’s interior, showing how various functions, such as the electrical power facilities and the uninterruptible power supplies are located.


And, Hitachi Data Systems, Hu Yoshida who gave a keynote presentation at AFCOM's Data Center World, and has his own blog page.

Hu Yoshida

Hu Yoshida, the CTO of Hitachi Data Systems, provides his insight into industry issues, discusses in his own words storage best practices, and provides realistic solutions to real storage needs in today

CoolCenter50 and Harmonious Green

November 11th, 2007

In September of this year Hitachi ltd, our parent company announced a program in Japan that is known as CoolCenter50 which is targeted at reducing power consumption in their Yokohama and Okayama data center by 50% in 5 years. This effort encompasses all of the groups in Hitachi including, air conditioning, power generation, IT equipment and management software.

But, what set the tone for what is going on in Japan is this blog post by Forrester.

Japanese Systems Engineers - Too busy firefighting to do jury duty?

I want to thank Akky Akimoto of Asiajin for pointing out a story in Japan's Mainichi newspaper about Exemptions for Jury Duty in Japan (article in Japanese). Akky points out that "Systems Engineer" is one of the jobs in a special list compiled by Japan's law courts; a list of people who have valid reasons to be exempted from jury duty ...

Background: From May 2009, Japan will introduce a "lay judge system" in which ordinary citizens will help decide the outcomes of trials. Japan's supreme court anticipates that some citizens will try to dodge jury duty with excuses ranging from "I'm a beautician. New graduates are relying on me to style their hair and kimonos for the graduation ceremony season" or "I'm currently the top favorite hostess at the bar where I work."

In order to provide guidance to district courts regarding which excuses should be viewed with sympathy, the supreme court conducted some research and came up with ten examples of jobs and circumstances that may qualify as worthy excuses for declining to do duty as a "lay judge".

and, discusses what it means that IT System Engineers make the list of ten jobs excused from jury duty.

What should we infer from this?

- Japanese Systems Engineers are in short supply. They're stretched - working long hours and with little or no spare capacity. Japan's Ministry of Technology and Industry has acknowledged "There is a lack of skilled IT engineers, in terms of both quality and quantity." (2007 ASOCIO conference in Tokyo -- Katsuhiko Kaji, director, Information Service Industry Division).

- Japanese Systems Engineers are tied up with "fire fighting". There have been some very high profile disasters with corporate IT systems in recent years. Most famously, the Tokyo Stock Exchange was brought to a comlpete stop on a few occasions because of bugs in the computer system created by Fujitsu. (And it's not the busiest stock exchange in the world - by a long shot). Many Japanese companies are struggling to cope with IT systems that have been cobbled together over the past few decades. When Forrester interviews Japanese IT executives, we find that too few are taking steps to make their IT infrastructure more flexible and more manageable (as I explained last year in my report: Japan Technology Investments And Priorities).

I have heard business leaders comment that it's hard to attract young Japanese people to work in IT. Jobs in IT are perceived as the modern day equivalent of "3K" jobs. ("3K" originally refered to jobs that were "kiken, kitsui and kitanai": dangerous, hard and dirty). Because of the long hours, tough conditions, and lack of glamour, few Japanese graduates dream of becoming Systems Engineers.

But who knows, maybe a jury duty exemption will put the sparkle back into the IT career track....

It's pretty hard to be Green when you are in fire fighting mode, and there are shortage of skilled IT engineers.

I admit. I have a bias on this article. Both of my parents are Japanese heritage, and I've gone to Japan over 20 times for business trips, working on multiple Japanese projects. And, my favorite sports are still Judo and Aikido.