By Dean Nelson on Apr 24, 2009
Late last year we instituted a project titled Bring Out Your Dead (inspired by the Monte Python's Holy Grail Film). It was an effort to hunt down and remove orphaned and unused hardware at the company. The challenge I gave to Serena Devito on my staff was to do this as a low-cost, no-cost effort. We weren't out to spend millions on replacing equipment, we just wanted to find comatose devices and get rid of them. We knew that even with all our datacenter consolidation efforts over the last two years, there was still a lot of waste going on. The reorganizations, acquisitions, reductions in force and other business activities left quite a bit of equipment in limbo. So, we partnered with our lab and datacenter managers to get rid of them. What we found surpassed even our expectations. We pulled 440+ pallets of equipment from four of our major campuses in just three months. 6,199 devices in all with 4,100 of them being servers! The icing on the cake was that 64% of the equipment we pulled was still powered on! It was just sitting there burning energy. The picture below shows 50% of the equipment that was removed. It filled one of our warehouses in Hayward, CA!
Just like at home, you need to do spring cleaning. The longer you delay it, the more work there is. And in this case, the more waste there is. Serena and her highly effective Work Environments team attacked this problem and achieved significant results in a very short period of time. She talks about the BOYD program in a newly released video on sun.com in support of Earth Day.
Included in this video is another simple effort to save money and decrease carbon. Mike Ryan on my staff runs the lab and datacenter energy team here at Sun. One of the projects he executed was to shut off unused air conditioners in our labs and datacenters. So far, they have been able to shut down 59 CRAH units saving $900,000 in utility costs! Like the BOYD program, it is amazing how much stuff is out there just running. Sometimes it's the simple things we can do to save money and help the environment that yield some of the largest returns.
So, in tribute to Earth Day we have one small request to everyone out there running datacenters, server rooms, labs or even wiring closets. Please, BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!