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Spencer Green
Chairman, GDS International

Sales and the 'Talent Magnet'

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25 May 2011

Green is good

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D oug Oathout discusses the green challenges faced by data centre management, and outlines some sustainable and efficient solutions.

Good data and information management is key for any business, but what is driving today's increased pressure on companies to deliver faster and cheaper data centres that are more energy-efficient?

Doug Oathout . Increase in information explosion is driving IT, and most data centres are trying to keep up. As newer technologies are introduced, energy efficient hardware and software is much more prevalent now than in earlier versions of servers, networking and power management. The easiest solution to deliver a more energy efficient data centre would be to build a new one. But with 70 percent of IT budgets locked into operations, it's hard to invest in the agility needed to keep up.

Building a completely new data centre takes time, funding and space. Advances in more efficient servers, storage and networking help reduce both energy usage and associated operating costs. Performance optimised datacentres (PODs), slash the time required for data centre build out and reduces your current and future capital expenses by allowing you to add capacity as you need it. Our patent pending flex data centre offers a standardised, modular approach to designing and building data centres, allowing clients to replace traditional data centre designs with a flexible solution.

A greener and more sustainable data centre is great for the environment, but how is it good for business?

DO . Reducing cost structure frees up revenues for re-investment in core business competencies. While reducing energy usage will certainly reduce costs, the resultant adds more - the proverbial 'triple bottom line': reduction in long-term cost, reinvestment in new programs, subsequent revenue increase. Reducing energy usage also carries with it brand equity - 'we are on the path to sustainability'.

By designing efficient servers, storage, networking, power management tools and services to help customers maximise their facilities, customers are getting more efficient without any extra effort . HP's Proliant servers can do more work using less power: The G7 server can complete 67 times more operations per watt than 2005 models. HP 2010 Superdome consumes 30 percent less power and is four times more capable than 2003 models.

How do sustainable data centres enable a company to remain agile in its ability to respond to fluctuations in the market, the effects of recessions and periods of growth?

DO . Adopting hybrid cloud can help a business to focus on its core competencies - to efficiently and securely streamline processes that waste time, resources, and energy. As businesses evaluate their IT needs – and their infrastructure to support those needs - the notion of pushing commodity processes, such as email, eCommerce, to companies whose core is cloud is quite compelling.

The Wynyard Data Centre is a great example of HP's commitment to agility and environmental sustainability. Located on the coast of England's North Sea, Wynyard takes advantage of the cool climate, using cold marine air to cool servers and other IT equipment, instead of air conditioning. In a typical year, the facility is expected to reduce energy consumption by 40 percent.

What green data centre initiatives are you currently working on that will deliver greater benefits for your business and your customers?

DO . HP is recognised as having one of the most sustainable businesses in the world, and we share our best practices with our customers so they can maximise data centre efficiency. We developed ESAT, Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tool, a service now offered by HP. This will help data centres (companies) quantify how green they are, set targets, then march towards attaining those targets.

HP POD and Flex Data Centres provide innovative ways for customers to manage power and energy use, and Wwe recently received a grant from the DOE to develop modular alternatively cooled data centres. Also, our data centres are LEED certified and we have helped develop smart standards for greening up data centres, including the EU Code of Conduct for DCs in EMEA.


Doug Oathout is vice president of marketing for Converged Infrastructure in the Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking Worldwide Organisation at HP. His responsibilities include articulating the HP Converged Infrastructure strategy and portfolio, as well as Green IT strategy and business development.

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