Tuesday 10 December 2013

Climate Change Agreement - Data Centres

It was hidden in the recent Autumn statement from the UK chancellor but it seems that a CCA is a done deal!

We've known about the possibility for a Climate Change Agreement for Data Centres for quite a while now, as we've been party to a number of events and updates from techUK (Formally Intellect).

My view was that it was going to be a very hard sell if not impossible to get the Treasury to sign up to, as unlike other industry CCA's and there are a 54 of them, a data centre cannot be "assessed" on the required production metric, therefore it is very difficult to quantify actual savings especially if the data centre is growing (as many of them are, due partly to Cloud services) but fair play to techUK and in particular Emma Fryer who it seems has managed to get Treasury on board and the agreement is scheduled to be in place prior to the end of the year.

I was reminded of my "impossible" statement by some illustrious  members of the industry at the EUCOC update meeting yesterday and was advised that I would have been up for some good natured ribbing if I had gone public, which I hadn't until now.

More info on CCA's can be found here and here

One of the reasons I had said that it may prove impossible was that a) Treasury would not really understand what data centres are all about, and that b) the reporting system for data centres signed up to the scheme would prove to be unpalatable in terms on the information required and how to actually achieve the required sector target savings.

Well the first hurdle has been overcome, and that is the Treasury, but perhaps the most important and hardest hurdles are yet to be seen let alone overcome.

I've no doubt that there will be some horsetrading over the exact requirements of the scheme and who and who cant sign up (we understand that it is just wholesale i.e. Colo and Hosting Sites that will be included for the time being) but I cant help thinking that whatever is required there will be a sting in the tail that is quite unintended.

We'll keep you all up to date on anything we hear via our social media and website

EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres Update 9th December

I was going to put this update in with a blog about the Climate Change Agreement mooted for the UK data centre industry but I have decided that the CCA deserves a blog posting all my itself, so we'll be concentrating on the EUCOC.
The EUCOC is a dynamic code, it moves with the industry, it includes the industry in its thinking and for that reason it is a very valuable tool. When I teach the BCS Intermediate Certificate in the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres I stress that participants and endorsers get the opportunity once a year to discuss what should come out, what should go in and how we move forward with it, I also underline that it is a vendor independent code, written by the industry for the industry.
The code is truly independent, the best practices are there for anyone to use, without a licence fee.
If you want to be become a participant to the EUCOC and use the badge, then you will have to sign up, fill out the spread-sheet and submit information for review by an external assessor, none of your information is ever referable back to you and if published the information is anonyomised (sp?)
So, this year the meeting was in Brussels, attended by approximately 30 people a mixture of endorsers, participants and staff to discuss section 10 and 11 which are respectively the best practices that are likely to be included in the next iteration of the code and those that are on our watchlist, pending inclusion should they become viable such as software efficiency metrics or AC/DC converters etc.
We have made some changes and we hope to get the next revision out for use in March 2014, as the code is dynamic a lot of changes need to be made to the back end as it were to keep everything tidy and this is why is can take some time to get the information out.

If you have any further queries on the code or indeed how you can sign up please visit the code website here
You can find a list of the code documents, participants and endorsers but if you need any further help, please drop us a line at info@carbon3it.com with EUCOC in the subject line and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Next blog will be about the UK Climate Change Agreement for Data Centres mentioned in the Autumn Statement on the 5th December 2013

Mauritius 2 - The Return - Rain

Now I've seen rain and I've seen rain, but I've never seen so much rain that the drains decide not to work.
Mauritius is quite a rainy place actually, and it all tends to come in a few days so the effects can be quite severe. Earlier this year 11 people lost their lives in a flash flood caused by debris left during the construction of the new ring road holding back storm water until it burst and ran down the mountain.
The British built some hefty drainage systems in the 19th Century but as the population has grown and more space used for housing this has proved to be inadequate for today's urban landscape.
Normally, a thin trickle of water can be seen in the canals (that's what the storm water drains are called) making its way towards the sea, but just a few minutes after it rains, the canals can become raging torrents of rusty brown water enough to sweep anything and anyone down towards the sea.
And its not as if they are not deep enough, they must be at least 2m deep and 5-6 meters wide, so that's a lot of water.
Many people I spoke to very scathing about the lack of water management on the island and said that the Government should do more to capture the water and use it, that is not a debate I want to get into but there are options to use this precious resource.

Next update, probably later today will be the EUCOC update meeting held in Brussels on the 9th December and some of the actions arising from it.
We'll also be making a statement about the mooted CCA for the UK data centre industry and what this could mean moving forward.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Mauritius 2 The Return - Infotech Launch Party and the Show itself

The Launch Party

Right, cufflinks purchased and many mosquito bites later I was picked up at Mon Choix by Riad and off we went to attend the INFOTECH Launch party in the presence of the Minister of ICT, the Chair of the NCB and the Executive Director, plus around 300 various company directors, staff and other notables including my good self.
I won't bore you with the details of each speech, but each of the 3 began with the usual introductions and pleasantries that went on for about 5 minutes finally culminating with "Ladies and Gentlemen" and then to the main thrust of the speech.
I was very pleasantly surprised that Green IT was given a high priority with mention of myself and the companies we were representing and even more surprised and taken aback that the media wanted to interview me for both print and TV (I'm a bit of a celebrity on Mauritian TV don't you know ;o)

After the hour long opening ceremony, we were shown two short videos detailing the rise of ICT as a mainstay of the economy and in such a short time, and a history of the event itself, it was the 20th Edition!
Then, it was time for the Minister to visit each stand, after about 25 mins he came around to our stand and I gave him a briefing on ICEOTOPE, the liquid cooled server solution, re-iterated that the technology was well suited to hot and humid environments and that we would probably....oh sorry cant tell you the rest, its classified!
Anyway, now that the minister has visited the stand we were able to go and enjoy a few drinks and nibbles.

The Show

The show included a number of shops with show discounts, the NCB with their huge stand, advising about things such as the Green IT strategy, the jobs fair, a number of companies looking for staff for BPO and call centre operations, and of course ourselves.
We had a lot of visitors over the duration of the show, the biggest draw was the liquid cooled server solution as of course this will lead to lower capex costs in construction of the data centre and because there is no mechanical cooling, lower opex cost because you dont have to pay for the energy used by the mechanical cooling solution, win win.
The show became extremely busy over the weekend, when more people come with their families, this is when we had our most visitors as some of the main IT people on the island cant make it during the week due to work commitments, but can at the weekend.

Overall we had about 30 direct inquires regarding ICEOTOPE and we have now followed up with the majority of them (if you attended the event. but have not had an email from us with the ICEOTOPE information, please drop me a line and I'll get it to you within 24 hours (we're like that you see, we like to communicate!))

Our plans

If some of our plans come to fruition, i.e. regarding our island base, we'll be back in March or April, and we'll definitely be back in May as we have another event to attend. We obviously cant reveal our plans as yet, but as always you'll hear about them here and our social media feeds first.

Next time we'll be talking about the rains and the floods in the Vallee Des Pretes last week.