- Cisco recently hosted a series of conversations with leading consultants and practitioners in the date centre arena.
- The purpose was to debate issues relating to the need to improve power efficiency in today's data centres.
- In 2007 Gartner highlighting that the IT industry is as big a contributor to greenhouse gasses as the airline industry and that 23% of the IT industry's power consumption is in data centres the participants in these conversations all agreed that the time to act is now.
- Phil Andrews, Director, European Data Centre Strategy at Cisco
- Una Du Noyer, Head of Architecture at Capgemini (Video 1)
- Finlay MacLeod, Head of Data Centres at BT (Videos 2 & 3)
- Jordan Gross, Managing Director of Ultraspeed (Video 4)
- Enrique Dans, Professor of Information Technologies and Systems at Institutio de Empressa (Video 5)
Key facts that came out of these discussions included:
- Data centre power consumption is growing by 15% per year
- In Europe power costs about one million Euros per megawatt year - and a typical data centre consumes between 10 and 20 megawatts
- Both environmental and commercial pressures are forcing organisations to look at the power efficiency of their data centres.
- Things can be done in existing and planned data centres to improve power efficiency
- It is a myth that data centre equipment needs to be cooled to between 20 and 25 degrees centigrade - it can operate at up to 30 degrees with no detrimental effect.
- Fresh air cooling can be effective
- Virtualisation is key
- But it requires a holistic approach - simply virtualising servers will have some benefit, but more can be done with an architectural approach
- Using virtualisation Cisco has seen a 300% increase in capacity in some of its data centres with only a 30% increase in power consumption.
Phil Andrews, Director, European Data Centre Strategy at Cisco
"Concerned multinationals are putting together clear strategies - we are no different. At Cisco we've reduced the number of data centres we have and are virtualising everything that can be shared. Our standard utilisation of servers is now 15 to 1, fifteen virtual servers on each physical server."
"If you have the right virtualisation capability in the network you can get the whole data centre up to 80 per cent, which leads to significant savings in power, space and cost."
"If you just virtualise the servers then the rest of data centre will not be able to keep up with your flexible highly efficient servers - you need to virtualise across the whole data centre network to use all resources in the most efficient way and make a real difference to overall power efficiency of the entire data centre network."
Finlay MacLeod, Head of Data Centres at BT
"BT is focused on reducing its energy costs, reducing its carbon footprint by 80% in 2016. We consumer 0.8% UK energy supplies. Therefore BT has an obligation to reduce carbon footprint and energy consumption. In our legacy estate, we're using energy efficient equipment and building out new capacity that is more efficient. We are also using virtualisation and consolidation in our data centres."
"The key thing that we all have to focus on and remember is the need for energy efficiency and lowering of our carbon footprint over time."
Una Du Noyer, Head of Architecture at Capgemini
"Power consumption in data centres growing at a rate of 15 per cent per annum and the escalating costs of energy are driving people to think of this not only for environmental reasons but also for financial ones."
"EU is already issuing directives that are currently more to do with disposal than energy consumption but you can see that the appetite exists and they will apply to all European countries.
"Companies should take any IT and Data Centre initiative into a corporate responsibility programme not just as a standalone initiative to avoid potential political resistance within the company and get board level sponsorship."
Jordan Gross, Managing Director of Ultraspeed
"There needs to be a general mindset change; people have got to stop looking at it as ‘going green' and focus on producing a sustainable business - building something that is not just green for green's sake and has a real purpose."
Enrique Dans, Professor of Information Technology and Systems, Institutio De Empressa
"Virtualisation covers many needs. Efficiency for sure, but also improving response times, flexibility, impacting how a company can act in critical situations and also helping to scale. All these needs are becoming critical to businesses."
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