More about the Green Data Centre

What I wrote the other week goes to prove that old adage “its easier to write a long article than it is a short one”, but I have just a few follow-ups, having slept on it for a few days.

Sun's stall as eco-friendly americans seems quite brave given the trans-oceanic debates on responsible enviromental macro-economic behaviour that took place towards the end of the week. It should go down well and I know that Charles Andrews (Sun's UK Sales Director) is talking to his customers contacts about the brand value to them of "Green" behaviour in the data centre.

One of the other things that I didn't get at the time was that the cute DC simulator is in fact available on the 'net, here.... I have now run this on my Windows XP partion and had to update my Java Runtime environment, but that was easy enough. I suggest you check it out and have fun, you can see what it looks like below.

Sun's Sim Data Center, a screen shot

One of the things I quite like is the economic and green views you can take using the tool. Slowly, my customers have been moving from one to the other. It is clear to me that Data Centre managers are moving from IT economics as their sole drivers (Investment, Benefits and IRR%) to include the environmentals (Kwatts/M2, Cooling and Space) as constraints and viewing both the average and marginal cost of the enviromentals as key factors in their own right.

One of the problems that tools such as these need to answer though is the Mandy Rice Davies answer. Having alleged, in the 1950s, that the UK Minister of Defence had been sleeping with a soviet spy's girlfriend, she is confronted by a journalist who states “Mr Profumo says your lying”, Mandy replies “Well he would, wouldn't he”. Sun's simulation tool state that Sun's hardware is better and cheaper than IBMs, - "Well we would, wouldn't we!". The only way to assuage people's suspicion is to show the cynics the facts, the reasoning, the analysis and the conclusions. I know that people want to and will examine the facts, and such tools need to expose their assumptions and reasoning. (It's always made me curious though why Sun and not IBM (or Gartner) have to answer to Mandy's legacy.)

On a different subject, part of IBM's spoiling tactics was to say that the T1 is not a general purpose CPU, Jonathan's rejoinder “It's not, it runs one application really well though ...... its called the Internet”.

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