I have analyzed and written and contemplated the notion of Green IT for years - and have found that the rhetoric is around Green and the reality is power, cooling and floor space. Having said that - Green IT is essential and hopefully the rhetoric will become reality and not just by accident or incident. In discussions with a friend and colleague of mine - Ronaldo de Andrade - we found that we shared the same concerns. Ronaldo has been analyzing the issue of Green IT - Clean IT and Sustainable IT and we agreed that it was important to have a blog focused on these concepts. The result is that Ronaldo will be writing an ongoing blog on here called Cleaning IT. I encourage you to read and respond. We are already seeing greater movement in this area and believe that it is only the beginning.
I am really excited about a blog series I am writing on the site - Unstructured Data. I am one of two contributors - the other is Daniel Garrie - an eDiscovery expert. My latest blog post on Unstructured Data is called Digital Patternicity - discussing the limitations of popular search algorithms that result in too many false positives.
We had a discussion with Michael Passe - he is a storage architect with Beth Israel hospitals. A little background: - Approximately 18,000 employees. - Environment consists of approximately 350 servers, virtual and physical. - Operating systems - Windows 2000 through 2008, Red Hat Enterprise, Linux 2.1 through 5, and HP UX. -Using both VMware and Xen for virtualization platforms. We asked him these 5 questions: 1. The economy is impacting everything – can you tell us how it effects your operations and IT planning decisions in 2009? 2. What are your key IT priorities for 2009 and why? 3. We are seeing an ongoing trend in companies to include IT as a core part of the business – realizing that IT can really impact revenue and profits. Can you tell us if this trend is manifesting in your organization and can you provide some examples? 4. What are your greatest challenges with your existing IT infrastructure and operations? 5. What has been some of your greatest successes in IT – in terms of cost reductions, leaps in efficiency – in terms of people, products and process? Attached are his audio reponses - take a listen to the podcast: Michael Passe Voice of the Customer Interview
The reality of "Green IT" is that the vast majority of IT professionals are not focused it. If anything, they are focused instead on power, cooling and floor space - which is fine since it does overlap Green. Power, cooling and floor space all have an economic impact and therefore businesses are motivated by reducing consumption. "Green" has a bit of a tree hugger stigma to it - and with a new consciousness around being more environmentally oriented - that is okay. We need to combine both the economic value of power, cooling and floor space and the environmental benefits of Green and raise it as a priority. This is the year to start in earnest (some of you already have) and there is no reason not to be both wise in business and the environment. What does this mean? It means elevating our business as usual approach to IT and taking a morale stance on how we conduct business. The good news for those practically minded - it will actually save you money and you can get a lot of PR out of it as well. For example Intel is testing solar power for their data centers. In larger companies there are a number of owners around this issue including facility, storage, servers, backup and network managers. CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CIOs, CTOs and their VPs should all be driving this process. The smaller businesses need to get their management and IT professionals around this very issue starting in 2009 and going forward.