Is green still on your radar screen when it comes to managing your data center assets? If not, perhaps it should be. A greener data center can be achieved through various means, not the least of which is gaining efficiencies in the area of power (energy) usage. And there are many indirect ways to increase energy efficiency in the data center. Consider if you will virtualization, asset management, storage management, and cloud computing as potential contributors to a more energy efficient, "greener" data center. For the purposes of today's blog, let's focus on virtualization - and the notion that "green comes with it".
Through virtualization, you can improve data center efficiency by raising the utilization of servers. I've heard many times that most computing resources (CPU) are left untapped on a single server. A global study of server energy and efficiency supported by the Alliance to Save Energy found that 72% of server managers believe that 15% or more of their servers were not doing any useful work. Consolidating multiple applications and workloads that run on separate devices to a single, partitioned server reduces the number of actual servers needed to handle current as well as future demands. And fewer servers means increased utilization, which in turn means that less power is required to operate and cool them, resulting in a more efficient - energy and cost-wise - and environmentally friendly data center.
And when we talk about virtualization, we shouldn't forget about the network. As servers have sprawled, so has the network that's required for access to and communication with those servers. In some cases it's thought that networking equipment can contribute as much as 20% -25% of the power load. As servers are condolidated and virtualized, there too can be a significant opportunity to simplify the network as well, and drive additional savings in the areas of energy use and cost, and reduced environmental impact.
So if you think about the above, if should become clear that some green benefits of virtualization can include:
Reduced energy use and associated costs
Fewer hardware assets require less energy used
Reduced heat output from fewer assets = reduced cooling requirements = less energy used
Lowered carbon emissions due to the reduction in hardware and energy use = a cleaner environment
And let's not forget that consolidation can certainly lower capital and operational costs as well
You may not think of green when you think of virtualization, but the potential benefits are compelling and should be part of the equation when thinking about the impact that virtualization could have on your IT infrastructure.
Come see us at Pulse 2010 in Las Vegas, February 21-24, booth 51.
Share Your Story @ Pulse
This year at Pulse 2010 we are
scheduling video tape interviews with clients who are willing to share
their thoughts on what they are doing to achieve visibility, control,
and automation in their infrastructure. We will be filming client
videos at Pulse starting Sunday, February 21, through Wednesday,
February 24. The content will be used to produce short videos that we
will leverage to illustrate the needs clients are addressing in their
organizations. Our customers have been sharing their stories throughout
2009 as you can see below. Interested in participating? Notify me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in telling your energy efficiency story.
Energy management is no longer just an option for organizations today; it’s a strategic imperative. There are growing pressures to control costs in challenging economic times and to operate responsibly amid concerns about climate change. Achieving energy efficiency across the vast range of systems and assets within an organization is essential. So why not take a closer look at your technology infrastructure and see if you can better manage how energy is being used?
Measuring and managing energy and thermal performance is often considered the foundation for most energy management capabilities. It involves gaining the necessary visibility into current energy and thermal data as well as the related costs. And it should provide a consolidated and more granular view of energy usage, and a baseline that can be used to compare performance against industry metrics or internal past performance. Once the energy and thermal information is collected and stored, organizations will have the data to:
- Identify areas where energy consumption and costs can be reduced - Achieve operational efficiencies with a consolidated view of energy usage - Enable future management capabilities, such as:
- Improved power & cooling capacity planning - Energy cost allocation - Reporting for compliance or subsidies
Learn more about IBM Energy Management at Pulse 2010 or check it out on the web.
I wanted to take just a few minutes on
this Friday afternoon to talk about the directions that we see emerging
in the energy management space. As Rich mentioned, one thing that we
don't see changing is the demand for energy cost reduction, the
increased focus on regulatory compliance, and the pressure from various
stakeholders to improve environmental social responsibility. But there
are a number of trends in this space that are changing, and in ways
that make these goals more possible with each passing day.One
of the most important changes that we are seeing is that more and more
assets are enabled for instrumentation and insight. Assets that were
once simply plugged into power outlets are now tied to communications
networks and are sharing key performance metrics, including energy and
environmental information. Now we can see the energy consumption and
environmental factors in real-time for assets varying from x-ray
machines to IT servers to construction equipment. As we improve this
instrumentation, it allows us to make smarter decisions about which
assets to utilize, when to utilize them, when maintenance is needed, or
when to replace them. We will also improve our ability to create
policies that can dynamically respond to changing energy situations
(pricing changes, demand charges, outages, natural disasters, etc.) in
order to reduce risk, cost, and environmental impact --- without
reducing our ability to deliver the critical business services that
drive our enterprises. We can also use this instrumentation to report on our performance and track progress over time. When we make a change in our organizations, whether a new cooling system or an employee initiative to turn off the lights in their offices, we'll be able to see the change as it happens and track our key performance indicators. This is a far cry from many of today's projects, where we scramble around the organization looking for energy savings or waste reduction, but have no real way to know if our efforts are successful.So that's one major trend that is shaping the future of energy and environmental management. What other trends do you see that will impact our ability to better manage our energy and environmental resources in the enterprise?
On 19 March 2010, IBM will release Tivoli Storage Manager v6.2. Read more about it at the Tivoli Storage team blog. How does this relate to Pulse you might ask? You can learn more about what's going on with Tivoli storage solutions by checking out out the storage roadmap at Pulse 2010 (also on the Tivoli storage blog).
So let's talk about storage and green...that's why you are reading this, right? When we think about "green", we usually think about energy and eco-efficiency. But what we don't often think about is the fact that there are may ways to get to those green benefits outside of energy monitoring and management. Enter storage (we'll talk about a few other areas in future posts). How can you improve storage utilization for an energy efficient storage environment? You can reduce power consumption by reducing the amount of disk capacity required to keep data assets tuned and available to the business. More specifically:
Improve storage utilization via storage virtualization and thin provisioning
Back up storage incrementally requiring less CPU utilization and therefore less energy
Reduce storage consumption / free-up storage space on existing storage devices by:
De-duplication of existing data
Compressing unused, inactive, orphan and temporary data
Automating the movement of data to more power efficient storage
What are the green benefits? I like to use the phrase "green comes with it". That is, by doing some of the above things to optimize your storage environment, you can realize a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly data center on the whole. Such benefits might include:
Storage space is utilized more efficiently reducing the overall storage "footprint";
Smaller storage footprint requires less hardware and resources, which in turn:
Reduces energy usage
Reduces carbon emissions and environmental impact
Reduces floorspace required for existing hardware, reducing the need for additional floorspace in the future (cost savings)
Seems pretty high-level as they say, but it stands to reason. What do you think?
Going green. It’s about more than just reducing environmental impact. It’s about changing the way we do things in all areas of our lives. It’s about reducing energy and related costs…it’s about optimizing systems and resources…it’s about being accountable…and it’s about unlocking unexpected opportunities to create new value.
Making an impact can and should happen at several levels: as an individual, as an organization, across our cities and nation and on a grander scale, our planet. So you can see that going green stretches across just about every part of our lives. And as you can probably imagine (let’s come full circle here), the by-product of all of these elements and making positive changes can and will have a positive impact on the world in which we live…and more specifically, on our environment.
Check out the IBM Green & Beyond interactive tool to learn more about what you can do. The tool allows you to look at "green" from an individual, organizational, city/nation and planet perspective. There are a lot of good local ideas that would be easy to implement. It's worth a look....care to add your comments?
Measuring and benchmarking energy and thermal performance is often considered the foundation for most energy management capabilities. It involves gaining the necessary visibility into current energy and thermal data and the related costs. One would typically undertake this project to provide a consolidated and potentially more granular view of energy usage and if they desire, to collect a baseline that can be used to compare performance against industry metrics or internal past performance
Once the energy and thermal information is collected and stored, organizations will have the data, or ‘raw materials’, to enable future management capabilities, such as: improved power & cooling capacity planning, energy cost allocation, or reporting for compliance or subsidies
You’ll also see here some of the key capabilities that should be considered for this particular initiative. In addition to the core requirement to collect and store energy and thermal metrics, you should also focus on other key capabilities when undertaking this initiative and deploying this type of solution, including:
The ability to collect, store, and report on ACTUAL energy and thermal metrics from across the infrastructure – i.e. IT, facilities and assets – in real time
The ability to display a real-time, visual map of the thermal metrics
The ability to benchmark performance
The ability to model and estimate energy costs and
The ability to aggregate information from multiple data sources and collection tools
I thought it would be interesting to show you how you can get started with measuring and benchmarking energy and thermal performance by looking at some of what we offer around this. So here you go::
Maximo Asset Management for Energy Optimization webcast featuring Forrester Research and IBM Register and listen now
Maximo Asset Management for Energy Optimization Learn more
Would you like to be able to visualize and communicate both the environmental and economic impact of energy usage across your infrastructure? If your answer is yes, then IBM has the solution for you. It's called the IBM energy dashboard, and it's a versatile, role-based information dashboard that collects metrics from IT, facilities and physical assets, giving you a way to communicate current and past energy and thermal performance in real business terms.
Consider these questions, and what you currently have to do to find the answers:
How much energy am I using? What services are costing the most in energy consumption? Can I make alterations and still meet my service level agreements? We've made some changes, so how much are we saving on energy bills?
Can you answer them with some degree of ease? Or have you already started scrambling for the answers in spreadsheets, power bills and reports?
Using views from IBM Tivoli Business Service Manager and drawing on information collected by IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management (and other potential sources), the IBM energy dashboard enables you to consolidate the information you collect and present it in an easy-to-read and insightful format. So what do you get? You get visibility into the energy usage of a broad range of infrastructure components and the relationship of your power infrastructure to the services they support.
Role based, you say?
The IBM energy dashboard gives you the flexibly leverage two dashboard views, First, it provides consolidated energy usage views for your executives and sustainability leaders, giving them visibility in to energy usage, cost, and the environmental impact of the efficiencies achieved. Second, it serves as a launch point for your operations team to drill in to root-cause analysis and help take corrective actions.
Sound intriguing? There’s so much more to it!
To get the full story on how IBM Service Management Solutions can help your organization better manage energy consumption by implementing an energy dashboard, visit our service management resource center to read the executive brief that we recently published.
Tiffany, if you are wondering what's consumed/consuming the most energy and where that's headed, let me try to shed some light on that. First off, buildings account for 40% of worldwide energy consumption, and believe it or not, it's estimated that up to 30% of that energy is wasted. Can you imagine? And of course there's the data center. Energy consumed by the IT infrastructure is significant, and is growing quickly and at an unsustainable rate. In many cases, especially in the IT infrastructure, the way assets are deployed and managed is inefficient – the amount of power required for the data center to operate compared to the amount of energy actually used by technology assets or computing is staggering, And that's probably not going to change until companies themselves decide to do something about it. And well they should, because as you can probably guess, reducing energy usage across these areas of the infrastructure presents a huge opportunity for cost savings.
Back in February 2009, I attended my first Pulse conference and it was a memorable experience. I left Las Vegas understanding why Pulse is considered the premier service management conference. The conference from start to finish provides an amazing venue that fosters interactive dialogue between IBMers, customers, and other industry experts. The numerous customer speakers and birds of a feather sessions were extremely valuable in helping me to identify other individuals who shared my passion and interest in energy management.
With 2010 just around the corner, I am already looking forward to participating in my second Pulse conference. The event returns to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on February 21-23 and I have been told that it will have an even greater emphasis on education and customer experience. This year’s curriculum will again include sessions that will focus on energy efficiency and will bring together IBM experts, customers, partners, and analysts to share their perspective and personal experiences. I encourage everyone who attends Pulse to review the sessions focused on Energy Efficiency and consider attending at least one of these 'green electives'. Based on the my experience last year, the information and insight shared in these sessions is extremely practical and will help you walk away with tactical ideas for how you can support your company's broader sustainability initiatives and objectives.
I will post additional details regarding the energy efficiency sessions as the curriculum is finalized. In the interim, please do not hesitate to post or send me ideas through this blog for topics or potential speakers that you would like to see at this years event.
I look forward to meeting many of you at Pulse 2010.
New release supports energy and environmentals for data centers and smarter buildings!
On June 10, 2011 IBM released a new version of our core energy management solution - IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management.This solution monitors and manages energy, and helps gain insight into energy and thermal information for IT equipment, data center infrastructure and facilities equipment from a central point of control.We’re particularly excited about this release because it further extends our capabilities to help customers optimize energy and environmental management both inside and outside of the data center.
Additionally, this release provides a generic building agent based on Open Standards (OPC) to make it easy to deliver data collection across a broad set of Building Management Systems, adds the ability to model devices and define associated predictive analytics to manage energy consumption, and extends collection of energy management metrics to IBM zEnterprise.
Why is this so important?Energy management is no longer just an option for organizations; it’s a strategic imperative.Companies are increasingly implementing not just traditional economically sustainability strategies, but also explicitly including more intangible strategies related to environmental and social sustainability.As a result, they are realizing that ‘going green’ positively affects not only their bottom line, but brand image.That coupled with pending government legislation proposing reductions in energy consumption and cuts in CO2 emissions make it imperative to understand and improve the environmental management of their data center, buildings and beyond.
New release supports energy and environmentals for data
centers and smarter buildings!
On July 5, 2011, IBM released Tivoli Monitoring for Energy
Management Interim Feature v22.214.171.124. This release added new support for the
Schneider Continuum Building Management System, which integrates the energy and
environmental management solutions delivered by Schneider and IBM in order to
provide a common solution that spans IT, data centers, buildings, and beyond.
This release also added additional support for chart visualization via Mashups
making it even easier to integrate data into smarter buildings dashboards and
expands the number of devices supported for Analytics.
These new files are generally available for use starting
today, and we encourage customers to start using this new release right
OK campers (and I mean that literally because that's what I will be doing this weekend), it's that time of year again... summer is coming to an end, and everyone's heading out (and cooking out) for the Labor Day weekend. So rather than talking shop this week, I thought I'd share a couple of things that I recently learned to help stay green over the long weekend (you know I am passionate about this anyway). Why you ask? Because I know that even though we're out of our normal day-to-day routines for a couple of days, we still want to be eco-friendly!
So, as you start your shopping and get ready to fire up the grill, why not consider:
Using biodegradable utensils, bowls, and cups (or reusable ones) to create less waste for your local landfill
Keeping a recycling bin right next to the trash can so that people know you are an eco-friendly party thrower and support recycling
If you do have a charcoal grill, use lump charcoal made from natural products and try to avoid using lighter fluid
Use natural light, such as candles or a small fire, to add to your evening party atmosphere. Avoid using unnecessary energy on those party lights shaped like pineapples and such.
And after the cookout:
Use biodegradable plastic trash bags
Let your guests take home any leftovers so that no food goes to waste
Clean the grill with soapy water or a wire brush instead of using harsh chemicals
Recycle those bottles and cans and any other glass, paper products or plastic that might have been left behind by your guests
So that's it. Short and sweet right? One last thing...have a fun, safe and eco-friendly Labor Day weekend!
We'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming next week :)