Monday, 29 November 2010

EU Code of Conduct Data Centres Energy Efficiency

Just a short note to advise that I have now passed this exam and have contacted the BCS with regard to becoming an assessor for the new BCS Data Centre Accreditation awards scheme.

Please visit the BCS website for further information regarding the awards criteria and process.

Please note that the BCS Data Centre Assessment is in addition to any participation or endorsement to the EU Code of Conduct and provides a definitive assessment of where the subject data centre is on the road to energy efficiency.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

WMICT Cluster

I attended the West Midlands ICT Cluster conference today and oh woe is me, yet more clouds.
Clouds are this and clouds are that, but yet when you talk to people about cloud services even those that work in the cloud and ask them the questions, they dont know.
If the people that work in the cloud cant answer simple questions then who can?

As blogged many times, organisations really really need to think carefully about entering the cloud, dont be taken in by the greenwash about the cloud being greener, its not.

And another thing, infrastructure as a service, beware beware beware.

Imagine you do enter the cloud and set up a host of servers, you'll be thinking about DR services as well wont you? Remember that some cloud service providers are also renting space in co location facilities, and you could unknowingly be buying DR services in exactly the same place as your primary service is located...if that particular facility goes down then you are going down as well.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Dirty Brown Cloud

Cloud Computing seems to be a buzz word at the moment, lots of organisations are promoting cloud services such as SaaS (Software as a Service) PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). so what are all these new wonderful services that are lurking in the cloud?
Answer: Nothing you dont already do.

Software as a Service is something like Citrix, the ability to open an internet portal and access a service from a server instead on on your PC, indeed any application that has been "web enabled" will run in the cloud.

Platform as a Service, ah this will be sharepoint or indeed any other collaboration type software where many users can access information over the web (intranet!)

Infrastructure as a Service, hmmm having servers and other storage capability located anywhere except in your own building, think DR!

What are the Green Benefits?

Reduced Electricity? Nope, additional equipment is required to give that 24/7/365 Resilience that many organisations think is the be all and end all of IT, so to provide this additional security cloud data centres need additional UPS's, additional networking and additional back up cooling systems

Reduced Cooling? Nope, as above in order to provide the additional resilence additional equipment is required, this equipment needs to be always on and even at idle will still have an energy overhead.

Reduced Hardware? Nope, in order to provide the resilience required, cloud operators will need to have large amounts of redundant servers and storage literally waiting for an outage at another Data Centre, so that that can move the applications and data across to the standby systems.

Reduced Software? Nope if anything additional software is required to provide security and resilence.

Cloud Services are simply a way for Data Centre operators to use up the spare space in their data centres. The data centres that are expensive to build and operate, especially now that the CRC is a pure carbon tax.

Data Centre operators will also face large carbon tax bills in the future, simply because they are not efficient, even the most green data centre operator in the UK will be charged lots of tax and pay for a lot of electricity and who is going to pay for the increased energy and tax bill?
Look no further that the clients who have adopted cloud services.

Oh and I almost forgot, if we look at the energy generation breakdown in the UK for 2009 (DUKES)

Coal - 28%
Nuclear - 18%
Gas - 45%
Imports - 1%
Renewables - 7%
Other Fuels - 1%

We can see that the UK is dependent on the importation of natural gas (our north sea fields are essentially deplete) and coal.

The cloud is dirty and brown, and in order to become clean and green a whole new way of providing cloud services is required and we are developing a new green cloud approach that we feel will be of benefit to the UK.
Watch this space!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Busy Busy

This week started with a funeral for my cousin Andrew, who sadly passed away after a short battle with Cancer. This meant a trip to London to pick up Mother, then a trip back down to London to visit a potential client.
Then another trip back to the Midlands for a BCS Meeting.
Then another trip to London to take an exam.
This weekend I'll be doing family stuff and also preparing some information on a project we'll be carrying out early next year.
Sunday looks like dinner with the Ryders, I'll be cooking as usual.

On the Green IT front however, lots of things to think about and post later.
Until then enjoy the weekend.

Friday, 12 November 2010

This Week...

started with a trip to the Green IT Expo at the QE2 Conference Centre in Westminster.
As always the seminars and quality of speakers was outstanding and anybody with an interest in Green IT or Sustainable Computing should mark this as the premier event in the Green IT Calendar.
Very PC launched a number of new products at the event as well as a new website and I was lucky enough to be invited to their after show party at the Cinnamon Club Bar (Thank You Peter!)
The view from most people that I spoke to was that Green IT was going to be high on the corporate agenda this year mainly due to a need to cut costs.

Some commentators are still promoting cloud services as the best way that organisations can become greener and cut costs, however nothing at the event has persuaded me that a move to the "dirty brown cloud" (dirty and brown because most data centres are powered by coal) will result in greener IT or for that matter a reduction in costs.
As I have blogged before, any organisation intending to move to the cloud needs to think very very carefully over what this means, both in the short term and over a longer timeframe.
I have doubts over the long term costs, service levels, the ease of amending or breaking a contract, the lack of open standards and fundamentally the so called green credentials of data centres providing cloud services.
Add to that the very real possibility that new data centres in the Uk are likely to be hit with the overall reduction in power generation caused by the large combustion directive and the nuclear decommissioning.

Here at Carbon3IT Ltd we believe that the current cloud model is fatally flawed and needs to be reviewed in line with external events not with a cosy view that everything will be fine.
Over to you cloud providers...

On Wednesday we attended the DataCentre Dynamics conference at the Lancaster Hotel, and specifically the EU Code of Conduct Data Centres Energy Efficiency update for stakeholders event, hosted by Paolo Bertoldi and others (Apologies for not catching all your names!)
There are some proposed amendments to the code out to the stakeholders for discussion and debate, including the new DPPE metric and others. Paolo has advised that the slides from the various presentations will be available on the EU Code of Conduct Website shortly.

All in all, a good week for those involved in the Green IT sector, lets hope that between us we can push the message home that Green IT is here to stay and that those organisations still dithering can make their minds up and get involved.

We have also progressed a few opportunities this week and hope to have some resolution soon... watch this space.