Monday 31 January 2011

Great Weekend

Our Daughter was invited to the Tamworth snowdome for a party, now I cant vouch for its "green credentials" but it certainly attracts a lot of people, the place was buzzing. However I do have a few moans, parking is not great, there doesn't seem to be enough staff to keep order and its a bit scruffy inside (no doubt due to its heavy use).
The play area had sledges and rubber rings with which to slide down some hills, but the top of one "slope" didn't have enough room for the child to get into the rubber rings without the risk of falling back down the steps, it just needed a platform wide enough for the child to put the ring down, get in and push themsleves off. After the play session, the children were taken to a dark room for some food and left to get on with it.
Later we went to the Malmaison hotel at the Mailbox, I can recommend this hotel chain, the breakfast was great and the rest of the food looked good, they have a locally sourced menu option which gets its food supplies from local suppliers, strangely enough most of it was sourced from near us, Chickens, Cheese etc. This cuts down on the food miles so transport costs are less and it keeps local producers viable.
The evening event was in the Garden Cafe in Kings Heath
This is a great little find, the food and drink was excellent.
The host had organised a band, that apparently had some famous faces, not that I recognised any of them! They played some wicked jazz, we had a guitarist, a keyboard player, bass, drums, bongos, and a sax. My daughter had never seen a live band before and was absolutely captivated.
Cupcakes from have to be seen to be believed, the taste is out of this world.They also look great when stacked on a stand. Not a crumb was left.

All in all, a great weekend, if a little tiring.

We've got a few things on this week, theres a few webinars to watch and a BCS Green IT committee teleconference on Wednesday and an SME energy efficiency event on Thursday, and we hope to be finalising another couple of meetings.
We're also waiting on a tender that was submitted last Friday 28th for some low carbon, low energy PC's for a school, I've worked out that the school will save over 3.5k in energy costs over 5 years by using this equipment, so although the capital cost of the equipment is higher than conventional PC's the long term cost or TCO will be lower, ESPECIALLY when energy costs are only going to go one way UP.
Please contact us directly on for more information.

Friday 28 January 2011

This Week

We have been very busy this week.

On Tuesday we met with a large local authority to discuss the implementation of the Greentrac PC power monitoring tool to their rather large estate, some 22, 000 devices and 66,000 users, we have estimated that by using Greentrac the authority could save between £1.6 - £2 Million pounds in energy savings over a three year period, and the payback time would be less than 6 months WIN WIN.
On Thursday we went to the IDL at the University of Warwick for their "Digital Goodlife" event, this is basically a series of talks on how SME's can run their businesses online for FREE!
We met with some great people who really do have their eye on emerging technologies and we hope to have some news regarding a joint event with them this space.
We also had news of a successful bid for some energy monitoring equipment and will provide details once this has been finalised.
I've also got a new android phone, so please bear with me as I have yet to get to gribs with its features and functionality, I can just about make a phone, so please bear with me if you need to ring me as this technology stuff can be a bit daunting! I jest of course, but I do have some configuration to do like transferring my address book and downloading some applications.
Next week we will be listening to a few webinars and attending an SME energy efficiency event in Nuneaton, we also hope to make another visit to the IDL to discuss a very exciting project
On a personal note, the daughter will be going to the Tamworth snowdome for a school friends birthday party and the mighty Gabe (my sister in law) is having her 40th Birthday Party, special cupcakes are being procured this afternoon and the event will have a live band and the entire extended family will be in Birmingham this weekend, its a right gathering of the clan.
Have a good weekend.

Monday 24 January 2011

An example of Greenwash/Cloudwash

Regular readers will know that I have a problem with clouds, especially computing ones although I'm not a lover of rainy days, anyway read the following

The cloud could create up to 20,000 jobs in Ireland says a report comissioned by MICROSOFT, who just happen to have a tailor made cloud solution.

Lets Analyse:
Ireland could create almost 20,000 jobs by rebranding itself a world leader in "cloud computing", a report has found.
Hmmm, ahhhh, maybe

Industry chiefs also claim public sector costs could be slashed by shifting systems on to the new technology.
Paul Rellis, managing director of Microsoft Ireland, said "the cloud" could be worth €9.5bn to the economy by 2014. 
Claim, could, etc

"The potential of this thing is big and there really is a great opportunity, if there is some speed and urgency put behind this, to take a disproportionate share of the global cloud computing market in Ireland," he said. 

Disproportionate share?? Average new cloud Data Centre uses between 10 - 20MW of power. The Island of Ireland, has approximately 6000MW of capacity, consumption has been growing at 16% per annum, although it is likely to tail off now in these poor economic climes and quite simply, Ireland will have to find a lot of power to claim its dispropotionate share of the cloud, perhaps that is why the Corrib gas field has got planning permission for the last section of the pipeline, much to the annoyance of the locals whose environment is about to get a whole lot worse.

Cloud computing allows people to store applications and software with companies and access them on demand over the internet. 
Thats the concept, reality though is a little different.

It has been described as the computing equivalent of linking into the electricity grid or gas network. 
It has, but its a little more complicated than that.

The technology cuts out the need for users to build and manage their own complex and costly systems. 
Oh no it doesn't, oh yes it does, oh no it doesn't, it actually depends on what you are trying to build and why, so more artistic licence here.

Goodbody economic consultants, who were commissioned by Microsoft Ireland to investigate its potential for Ireland, found businesses could halve IT costs by using "the cloud". 
Hmmm, there is potential for cutting costs, however this could easily be achieved with the adoption of ITIL or a Green IT strategy.

Savings would help 2,000 small and medium companies get off the ground with the creation of 11,000 jobs, the report claims.

Not sure what this line means, does it mean that 2000 SME's could create 11,000 jobs by moving into the cloud, or that moving into the cloud would create 11,000 jobs, in which case costs would surely increase!!

Another 8,600 new jobs would come from companies specialising in "cloud computing" if Ireland took a lead in the market.
On the contrary, clouds mean automation, automation cuts the amount of staff required in the cloudee company but doesn't necessarily mean that the clouder company increase headcount

Mr Rellis called for a major cloud-based public sector project which would cut costs and send out a signal that the country is embracing the technology.
Of course he is, hes wants some business 
Barry O'Leary, chief executive of IDA, said a flagship project was really important for promoting Ireland.
"Provided we get in early enough, we can capitalise on the opportunity," he said. 
Another attempt at kickstarting the market

More than half of IT firms in Ireland surveyed for the report were already either developing a cloud-based project or planning one for the future. 
Were they? hmmmm ok then
The market is believed to be worth around €12bn, but is expected to grow to between €40bn and €110bn. 
So, its worth 12billion , but it could be 40 or even 110. Try going down to the bank with that in your business plan and see how long you last before they show you the door.

Sorry, just another example of the Greenwash and Cloudwash prevalent in the industry at the moment.

Friday 21 January 2011

BCS Coventry Meeting

I recently attended an event at the Warwick Uni Digital Lab on HDR.
HDR = High Dynamic Range
HDR is basically (and this description is basic as I am not a authority on the subject) pictures and video that operate in the same range as the human eye sees, this means that images are a lot sharper and that we see on screen exactly what we would see in the outside world. Traditional Images are captured in LDR or low dynamic range and as a result can be destroyed by glare from the Sun or be overwhelmed by other light sources.

So, whats this got to do with Green IT?

Well, quite a lot actually, the new HDR camera captures 24MBytes of data PER frame or 42GBytes for a minute of video footage compared to 9GBytes for a minute of normal footage.
As you can imagine this means that the new HDR cameras are capturing huge amounts of Data, data that will need to be stored either on board the camera (not technically possible at the moment) or on a separate storage device (the prototype had a flight case with 54TBytes onboard with a massive cable connecting the storage to the camera) and eventually in Data Centres.
Yep, the Data Centres that are already under strain due to increased data storage requirements placing high demand on energy.
The techies on the project are working on new compression techniques to reduce this heavy data capture so hopefully before HDR becomes a widespread means of image capture, the amount of data transmitted and stored can be seriously reduced.
Further information on HDR and the work that Warwick University Digital Lab are conducting can be found on these links


Since I started Carbon3IT Ltd in August 2009 (we didn't start trading until Jan 10) I've undertaken quite a few training courses to further my knowledge and to get "certified". These courses included:

ISEB Foundation Certificate in Green IT
Prince 2 Foundation & Practitioner
ISEB EU Code of Conduct for Data Centre Energy Efficiency
ITIL v3 Foundation
I've also managed to complete and be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Technology with the Open University.

I think that training courses are excellent events from which to gain knowledge and to meet new contacts to further the Green/Sustainable IT agenda, albeit with individuals that already have some degree of knowledge in the subject.
This week we met with a London University to progress some discussions for the installation of the Greentrac PC monitoring and management tool.

We also had some discussions with ITAASL regarding the new British Computer Society Award programme CEEDA, which is an award for Data Centre Energy Efficiency that builds on the EU Code of Conduct best practices guidance insofar that whilst the EU CoC allows DC operators to sign up for the scheme and delay the implementation of best practice into a 3 year time frame, the CEEDA award assesses DC's on actual implementation of the best practices that have already been carried out.
We will provide information on how Carbon3IT Ltd will be assisting the programme once all the final details have been worked out, watch this space as it were.

Next week we have a meeting with a large local authority to discuss Sustainable IT issues and the possibility of another Greentrac Proof of Concept trial.
We have noted that IT energy efficiency seems to have become a "hot topic" in the industry media pages and this can only be a good thing.
We have a number of events planned in the Spring 2011 where we intend to push the Green IT agenda and details will be provided on this blog and our website closer to the event.

In the meantime have a great weekend and please visit our website at for further information on Green/Sustainable IT

Friday 14 January 2011

Last Week, This Week..

Last Week I attended the ITIL v3 Foundation course in London. I recommend any IT person to go on this course as it really does bring everything together and into focus.

Carbon3IT Ltd has also received its Irish Tax Clearance certificate, allowing us to work in Ireland on public sector contracts.

This week I have been working on a number of projects that are in the pipeline for later this year, obviously some of them are commercial in confidence so I am not able to reveal the identity of the clients or the projects, so you'll just have to wait.

I've been amused at some of recent news releases from Green IT Land, in particular, the notion that Green IT strategies are dead
Whilst I agree that pure Green IT Virtualisation and energy management strategies are only one part of an overall sustainable approach that organisations need to take, its a bit of a leap to suggest that pure Green IT strategies are actually dead in the water, they've hardly begun.
This view of course is exactly what you would expect from someone who is paid to forecast things for the large corporates, as can be indicated by the long list of consultancies in the article.It is strange that this seems to co-incide with the Governments change of procurement strategy to include greater involvement from SME's.

The other was that  pc power management would move to the cloud

As with all forecasts, take this with a pinch of salt, the key to all this is money and the current lack of it is preventing a lot of good energy saving projects from commencing.

Anyway, have a good weekend I'll be working on the final stages of a proposal and looking after a small child.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Website Down

Carbon3IT Ltd apologies for the outage that has occured with our email and website today.
Our hosting provider has exprienced a power outage that is affecting all web and email services.
If you need to contact us urgently please use the account which is unaffected.
Once again we apologise for this outage which is beyond our control.