When I logged into my monkchips WordPress console today I noticed an inbound ping from a new blog called The Raised Floor, which got my legacy boy senses tingling. Sure enough when I got over there it was clear that we’re talking about data centers, from the people that invented the concept (and yes I do mean Big Blue). I particularly like the picture they have used for their banner, with a classic black and white shot of a mainframe room, with the floor raised… and green grass underneath. Like so:
The content is pretty solid right out of the gate – although there are some gaps. Asking whether tape vendors are pitching green, for example? You’d have to be underneath that raised floor not to have come across a tape vendor wrapping itself in the green flag. LTO, one of the sponsors of the ComputerWorld UK Green Zone, is a good example.
But its the quality of people involved that caught my eye: notably one John Patrick. Who is John? Only the guy that Louis Gerstner gives much of the credit for encouraging the company’s long march to open standards. John can probably claim as much credit as anyone for helping to change the basis of the IT economy from raising barriers to entry, to one that succeeds on the basis of lowering barriers to participation. He is a good pal of Irving Wladawsky-Berger, another one of IBM’s most important change agents of the last century. I am not a fan of John’s politics, particularly, but if he sees the importance of greener technology then I certainly have his back. As Hero Nakumura would say – This Is How We Roll.
The blog is going on my blogroll. I look forward to some great content. I leave you with an excerpt.
IBM is leading by example. One of their “green” projects is consolidating 3,900 servers onto 30 new top of the line mainframe servers. The result is not only more compute power but dramatically less use of electrical power and space. One of IBM’s customers went from 300 servers to six. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center consolidated 1,000 servers onto 300 and saved $20m in costs while freeing up datacenter space for more hospital beds.
Datacenters have been popping up everywhere — most of them built before 2001. The datacenters are very large rooms full of many different kinds of equipment — designed in the same way they were decades ago — like a kitchen where the stove puts out more heat so you turn on the air conditioning to cool down the entire room. The chef is comfortable and others in the room are freezing. IBM is designing datacenters for customers where cooling “zones” are specific to the type of equipment in each zone. Green datacenters not only save space and energy but also benefits the environment overall. In the past the electric bill has been allocated as overhead to all parts of the company. Redesigns are saving many millions of dollars. With the huge growth of energy for the IT infrastructure the CFO is reallocating energy expenditures from general overhead to the CIO so they can see what IT is really costing.