Wednesday, 28 July 2010

HP Modular Data Centres

So, what do we are think about this idea?

I quite like it, although there have been manifestations of this type of modular DC before, from other Vendors such as Sun. I dont know of anyone who has built one in the UK. I suspect that UK planning laws put the kybosh on that sort of thing

I cant believe that an equivalent DC costs $51Million dollars to build though verses $21 million for a modDC.

I reckon that you could construct and fit out a DC that costs far less than that.

Monday, 26 July 2010

What is a Consultant?

What indeed is a Consultant?

The dictionary definition or rather the Wikpedia definition states:

A consultant (from the Latin consultare means "to discuss" from which we also derive words such as consul and counsel) is a professional who provides advice in a particular area of expertise such as management, accountancy, the environment, entertainment, technology, law (tax law, in particular), human resources, marketing, emergency management, food production, medicine, finance, life management, economics, public affairs, communication, engineering, sound system design, graphic design, or waste management.

A consultant is usually an expert or a professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. A consultant usually works for a consultancy firm or is self-employed, and engages with multiple and changing clients. Thus, clients have access to deeper levels of expertise than would be feasible for them to retain in-house, and may purchase only as much service from the outside consultant as desired.

So, what does a consultant do?, seems to me that if an organisation has a specific brief, say "what is the most suitable type of equipment for a task, then the consultant will be able to say "ah, that'll be equipment x, and for the following reasons" he wouldn't be much of a consultant if he dithers about and says "well, ah, theres two or three options that will perform the task, but I really cant say which one is the best"

Because, in my opinion, he should already know what is the best, or he should upon receipt of his brief, go out and conduct research and if neccessary test each appliance or application to detemine if it is the best.
Perhaps, he should come up with a report detailing what elements of each product overlap and if they have a unique selling point or feature that rises them above the also-rans.

In short, the consultant does the work that you have paid him to do.

Providing options for equipment/services etc to potential clients is tantamount to saying "well I'm not much good as this consultancy lark, but I've done a bit of research and come up with these three or four products, heres the pricing, now you decide"

Which is precisely what the client has paid you for, so why should he pay you, he's still got to make a decision, all you've done is narrow down his search.

I wouldn't pay for this low level service model.

When we specify a product or service, its because we have done the hard work, we've conducted the research, we've looked at the features and we've made the decision.

Trust is the one key attribute that is essential for a consultant, and what it boils down to is "do you trust your consultant to provide you with the best possible result for the brief you have set them?"

If so, great buy the product.
If not, maybe you need to get a new consultant or change your original brief

Thursday, 15 July 2010

CRC Latest Data

As of the 12th July, some 738 organisations had registered for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme, and information declarations had been made by 254 non corporate organisations (public bodies) and 3167 corporate bodies.

Bearing in mind that the Environment Agency had originally estimated 6,000 bodies would fall under the scheme, and then revised this in April to some 12,000 - 15000 organisations, there still seems to be a lot of companies that have yet to register.
Registration closes on the 30th September 2010, and woe betide those companies who fail to register, as the documentation states "CRC is a mandatory scheme. Any organisation that does not comply with its legal obligations under CRC may face financial and other penalties. In addition, the Administrator will publish details of all organisations who have not complied with their obligations under the scheme"

So, seems to me that this is fairly clear, if you fail to register you may be fined and face other penalities and possible publication as being a "naughty" company.

I'm going to have a look at the registered participants/information declarations dataset and calculate how many IT companies are present on the list and report back.
It will be interesting to see how many companies are practising what they preach or not as the case may be.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Data Centre of the Future...

I posted yesterday about going to this conference and very good it was too.
Speakers from Cisco, Intel, VMWare & Gartner suggested, nah told us that the cloud was to be the future.
I disagree, when asked how many new shiny data centres would be built to cater for the projected growth in the cloud, because it is the future after all, no one from these blue chip corporates could tell the assembled throng, and when questioned on how new data centres could be built when the UK faces a serious potential energy gap come 2015 due to the decommissioning of nuclear and the closure of some coal fired power stations and even today no data centre can be built within the M25 because of a lack of power infrastructure and capacity, they wobbled on about new energy efficent servers and virtualisation and erm well anything to erm well ah, we are sure that erm. Yeah Guys ok, just tell us that you do not have a clue and that the cloud is built on a cloud, and unfortunately you cant live on a cloud unless you are Captain Scarlet on Cloudbase 9.

It is my belief that the cloud in the UK cannot survive the issue of power, data centres need power and lots of it. The cloud envisaged by the speakers at the conference spoke about IaaS, thats Infrastructure as a Service, Paas, thats Platform as a Service, and finally Saas, which is Software as a Service on a grand scale, and I mean GRAND.
Millions of Corporate Users and Billions of New Internet Users will all be using cloud services, and this means hundreds of new data centres, hundreds, and each one will need at least 10MW of power.
Now, how much capacity do we have in the UK?

There are many power stations of all types and sizes in the UK. A diversity of generating technologies is essential as it means that we are not over-reliant on one fuel source. Between them, the power stations in the UK have a generating capacity of some 83.5 gigawatts (GW) and produced 385,560 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in 2008. Source:

And of the 83.5GW Capacity, over 25% are to close by 2025, over £200Billion of new investment in Power Stations, the smart Grid and Smart meters is needed to address this gap, thats more than the bankers needed to be bailed out.

21 GW - Total capacity of power stations expected to close between now and 2025 – about a quarter of our current generating capacity.

On the figures above 100 New Data Centres will require a 1GW Power Station but we are going to lose 21GW of Capacity.

So, the cloud is going to expand, this must be true because some big IT industry players have told us so, but there is a fundamental disconnect between the power available and the power demand that the cloud is going to have.

I wonder how this is going to pan out, in the meantime, you can begin to monitor your energy consumption in real time and manage your IT by requesting IT energy management from Carbon3IT Ltd.
Our contact details are listed above.

Monday, 5 July 2010

The future of IT is....

largely driven by the manufacturers and we have a vicious circle of software vendors bringing out new packages or updates on a regular two to three year basis, these tend to push the hardware to its limits and as a result new software is closely followed by hardware manufacturers bringing out newer faster, more powerful equipment with additional processing, memory, hard drive and storage capacity, which in turn is seen as a spur to software development to use the additional processor, memory, hard drive and storage capacity, and so on and on and on.
We cannot blame the manufacturers for this, after all, innovation is the name of the game in the IT industry and the first company to market usually gets a nice piece of the pie, but eventually the others catch up and do it cheaper.
But, is this sustainable? one would think not.
One must remember that the manufacture of PC's is not really environmentally friendly, a single pc can use up to 240 litres of water during the manufacturing process, not to mention the toxic componments and waste generated. The processor is the greatest cost component in a PC and it is unrecyclable, there is nothing in a processor that can be used again, so when corporates dispose of a PC, the value of it falls to about £75, which is normally the cost of disposal. not great value for money then?
So, what are the alternatives to disposal for a corporate PC? well some donate to charities for use elsewhere in the world or offer them to staff.
I think we are missing a trick here and believe that the best use of old pc's is to reuse the pc in a low capacity function. I'll be posting more on this in the future.

Cisco - Data Centres of the future - Roundtables

I shall be leaving shortly to go to London, so that I can attend the Cisco Data Centre of the Future breakfast meeting at the Grocers Hall in London tomorrow.
This should prove to be an interesting event and I shall post on this subject later in the week.

Green Enterprise World Forum

I went to this excellent expo and conference last thursday, and it was a shame that I was unable to attend the afternoon sessions.
Lots of very interesting people and technologies on show.
Of all the conferences and expos I have been to since I started Carbon3IT Ltd, this is definately one I shall be attending in the future.