Cloud Computing is changing behavior, one of the hardest steps in Greening the Data Center

A Green Data Center is not a binary thing that is demonstrated by achieving a performance number.  Achieving a sub PUE of 1.2 is a good step, but does that make the data center Green?  It is more energy efficient than others.  A LEED platinum data center means the building has achieved enough points that the building now has more points than others, but is that Green?  These are all good ideas, but overall it is not changing behavior for the holistic system.

The book Switch: How to change things, when change is hard makes an excellent point.

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Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?

The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.


Usually these topics are treated separately—there is "change management" advice for executives and "self-help" advice for individuals and "change the world" advice for activists. That's a shame, because all change efforts have something in common: For anything to change, someone has to start acting differently.

When you build a LEED certified data center does it change the behavior of the occupants?  Does a low PUE change how you host your IT?  It changes the mindset a bit for the mechanical operations staff.

If you are running a Cloud Computing data center that is charging users for their resources used and there is a clear profit and loss goal for operations and customers, there are behavior changes all over.

James Hamilton posts on Dave Patterson's latest Cloud Computing keynote at Cloud Computing 2010.

The Berkeley RAD Lab principal investigators include: Armando FoxRandy Katz & Dave Patterson (systems/networks),Michael Jordan (machine learning), Ion Stoica (networks & P2P), Anthony Joseph (systems/security), Michael Franklin(databases), and Scott Shenker (networks) in addition to 30 Phd students, 10 undergrads, and 2 postdocs.

The talk starts by arguing that cloud computing actually is a new approach drawing material from the Above the Cloudspaper that I mentioned early last year: Berkeley Above the Clouds. Then walked through why pay-as-you-go computing with small granule time increments allow SLAs to be hit without stranding valuable resources.

James does a good job of identifying the top 6 slides out of the 50 slide talk.

If you look at all these slides each one of these are discussing how Cloud Computing is and will change behavior of people in the IT system.  Which is the biggest step in a Green Data Center.

I think leading Cloud Computing data centers will be greener than most as performance per hr is a number all think about.  And, a natural 2nd question is how much it costs.  The costs are largely affected by the power consumed.