IT efficiency cascades through the datacenter

I took part in this webcast with TSO Logic in December 2013. The webcast looked at the importance of IT energy efficiency to lowering datacenter operating and capital costs. 451 Research gave an overview of some of the main themes and trends in this area before TSO Logic gave a detailed account of how its software can be used to identify and eliminate under-utilised servers, and power manage IT equipment.

Latest report: IT Energy efficiency firms to benefit from federal datacenter squeeze

Our latest The 451 Group report on energy management start-up Joulex looks at how the company might benefit from the US Federal government’s datacenter consolidation plans. Consolidation is obviously about shutting down surplus resources – from individual devices to entire datacenters – but before you can start that process, and realize the savings, you need to know what you have to begin with.

Unfortunately, individual agencies appear to be struggling with that initial work. Asset management tools exist to help with this process but these systems need to be filled with information before they can be of any use That takes time and resources. JouleX, and Triton, believe their technology can help with this initial asset discovery process, as well as with long term energy efficiency monitoring and control.

However, they are far from being the only game in town and all the other major IT consultants will be hoping to grab a slice of the ongoing consolidation work.

JouleX alliance aims to benefit from federal datacenter squeeze

Energy management startup JouleX and sustainability consultant Triton Federal Solutions announced a partnership in the third quarter of 2011. Triton is acting as a reseller for the JouleX Energy Manager (JEM) products, and the partnership could help JouleX generate sales of its technology to US government agencies. The government plans to consolidate up to 800 of its 2,000 datacenters and improve the efficiency of the remainder. Savings could be up to $23.71bn per year. However, new efficient technologies will be required to identify assets for consolidation and optimize the remaining sites. Securing a slice of this effort could be lucrative for JouleX and Triton.

The 451 Group subscribers can access the report @ The 451 Non-subscribers can get apply for access here.

Latest Report: Dell certifies servers, storage and networking for hotter datacenters

Latest report for The 451 Group which examines how Dell and other suppliers are updating their kit and warranties to allow them to be operated at higher temperatures.

In the third quarter of 2011, Dell announced that it had updated the warranties of some of its existing datacenter IT equipment to cover it for operation at higher temperatures and humidity. These newly certified devices are collectively known as the Dell Fresh Air Cooling range. The equipment will only be covered at the new higher temperatures for limited periods of time, but Dell says this is sufficient for most use cases. The Fresh Air range is designed to help companies cut datacenter operating costs by reducing their use of mechanical chillers.

The 451 Group subscribers can access the report @ The 451 Non-subscribers can get apply for access here.

Pulling in the media favours on my first analyst report

Thanks to Silicon, BusinessGreen and eWEEK Europe UK for the coverage of my first Long Form analyst report for The 451 Group. CIOs Turned off By Power Management

IT departments are resisting the rollout of PC power-management technology as they believe the downtime and productivity losses associated with implementing it are too great a risk.

And this opposition is likely to remain until IT can directly benefit from the cost savings that greater energy efficiency can generate, according to analyst house The 451 Group.

Power-management software allows desktop computers to be turned off remotely to ensure they aren’t drawing power when not in use. This means PCs aren’t left on overnight or when people don’t come into work, significantly reducing energy costs and carbon emissions.

For more go to Corporations Turn On TO PC Turn Off

The global market for PC power management technologies will continue to expand “at a pretty rapid rate”, according to a major new report confirming that the energy savings delivered by automated PC turn-off technologies can deliver a return on investment in less than six months for many organisations.

The study from IT industry analysts The 451 Group, entitled PC Power Management – Measuring, Monitoring and Managing Client Energy Consumption, concluded that despite the rapid expansion of the PC power management market in recent years the technology has still achieved market penetration of just 20 per cent, leaving plenty of room for expansion.

For more go to

Thanks to eWEEK Europe UK for the coverage too – site seems to be down though so can’t put the links in yet.




From N-Plus One: Why Energy Should Be On IT’s Radar

IT is a pretty dynamic sector to work in but it’s easy to get wrapped up in the goings-on within the industry and forget that outside factors also play a significant role. Energy costs are a good example and are becoming an increasingly strategic issue for the IT industry, especially large users such as datacenter owners and operators.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a recent event in Budapest, my home-town, at the Central European University (an institution established by international financier George Soros). The event was a talk by the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol who was on hand to provide some perspectives on factors shaping global energy markets.

For more go to: N Plus One

Why Data Centre Owners Want Carbon Laws Terminated

From eWEEK Europe UK:

In the dog days of summer you might, like me, find yourself with a bit more time on your hands than usual. Given the standard of the average British summer, spending all of it frolicking in the great outdoors isn’t always an option. Sitting down to watch a few sci-fi classics is one alternative – albeit a geeky one. But beware, rather than escapism, some of these films have a way of focusing the mind on real-world issues in an unexpected way.

In the dystopian imaginings of two of my favourite films, The Terminator and Blade Runner, irresponsible application of technology is to blame for ravaged landscapes and a distinct lack of anything warm and furry, or green and leafy for that matter. So rather than being immersed in cyborgs, guns and high-octane action, I found myself musing on the relationship between tech and the environment.

Avatar: Tech vs Environment

High-tech and the natural world just don’t mix, seems to be the message of a lot of sci-fi. In a head to head contest one is going to come off worse and, usually, it’s the green stuff that suffers. Most recently Avatar demonstrated this violent opposition of technology and natural habitat with primitive people defending their forest home from a tech-dependent human army. One of the key parts of the film involves a sacred tree being torched in the name of progress – a crude metaphor maybe but an effective one.

The irony of the environmental message at the heart of Avatar and the warnings of techno-meddling from films such as The Terminator, is that the films themselves are the product of technological advancements. Avatar is seen as the bleeding edge of 3D technology, with the TV industry pinning its hopes on the movie to drive the next wave of upgrades. Environmental groups have already pointed out the inherent contradiction that a film with an environmental message may potentially spark a tech-refresh with all its e-waste generating implications.

The relationship between technology and environmental sustainability is obviously more nuanced than popular culture would have us believe. The massive green elephant in the room is the whole rise of so-called clean technology and renewable energy – from wind turbines to hydrogen fuel cells – which are all dependent on new and innovative technology. Overhauling power grids and the way consumers monitor their energy use will save huge amounts of carbon. But this application of so-called smart meters and grids isn’t possible without upgrading existing infrastructure and rolling-out new technology. Counter-intuitively, to lessen the impact of tech on the environment we have to build more of it.

But another aspect to the complex relationship between the environment and technological progress is that technology – specifically IT – has the potential to not only become more sustainable through refinement but actually lessen the impact of other man-made activities. A power-efficient data centre which utilises renewable energy, such as the Other World Computing (OWC) facility in Woodstock Illinois, is not only inherently sustainable but the tools it could provide – email, web collaboration and video conferencing – replace the need for more carbon intensive activities such as air-travel.

For more go to eWEEK Europe UK

It’s Time For Sun, Sea And… Smart Meters

So the government has finally decided to put some meat on the bones of its smart meter plans.

The long awaited Smart Metering Implementation Programme Prospectus was released this week in the last proper splurge of business before the dog days of summer. Not much of a fanfare then for what the government admits will be one of the biggest public sector tech projects of recent times.

But then any news is good news right now with the silly season looming – another week and the tech press will be awash with the usual summer space fillers of “How to stay connected to the office while on vacation” or “Top tech books to take to the beach”. While it might be exciting to engage the conspiracy synapses and imagine government spin-doctors trying to bury some Machiavellian smart meter sub-plot – the truth is probably just that this much material takes time to accumulate.

And what a pile there is. Never mind summer reading, anyone interested in how the government intends to pull-off this feat will be eschewing Stephen King and Dean Koontz in favour of Chris Huhn. The smart meter prospectus might not be exactly beach reading material but some aspects of it seem every bit as fanciful as a bestseller.

A Fantasy Bestseller?

The most obvious example of this is the new timetable the government has set. The EU electricity and gas directives behind the UK’s smart meter push mandate 2020 as the date for the deployment. That might still be nearly ten years away but even that seemed ambitious given the small fact that the country is broke and most other large-scale public sector tech projects have been mothballed or scrapped as the coalition furiously bails out our collective life-boat. The rash of tech quangos that have been nuked in the last few weeks, together with high-profile cuts such as ID Cards and Microsoft losing its lucrative NHS deal, show exactly how much cash and good will there is available for tech projects in Whitehall right now.

Despite some pre-election stories about cosying up to Google, the coalition government has not exactly endeared itself to the tech industry so far. Even the hip games industry’s attempts to get a tax break were shot to pieces, Call-Of-Duty-style, by George Osbourne.

For more go to eWEEK Europe UK