Data Center Managers Share '

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-09-18 Print this article Print

"This is where the trouble can happen ... Two different lines of reporting, two different budgets," Monroe said. This can be alleviated, he said, by "getting the money all in one place."

"The CIO is usually one of the target consumers of energy," Monroe said, "but the VP of facilities pays the bill. If an enterprise can align energy spending with budget responsibility, things will smooth out. Give the CIO an electric budget; give facilities the IT capital; and allow for savings to be accounted for where they happen."

The CIO will be motivated to stay within the budget, facilities will pay the bill and both can take credit when credit is due, Monroe said.

HCA Data Center Manager Jerry Ballard told eWEEK that his facility in Orlando, Fla., has about 350 to 400 servers divided into four rooms.

"Even though were getting a ton of new information [including various types of health records and X-ray imaging] each day, were running well within capacity," Ballard said. "We don't see any major problems right now with our system."

Ballard did say that he is in the process of replacing some older servers in one of the rooms. "We're doing a revolving kind of refresh," he said, "one room at a time, but there's no rush on it."

Debora A. Brugman, manager of operations support for Ameritas Life Insurance in Lincoln, Neb., told eWEEK that she was here to learn the exact steps to take in the event of a power failure or other disaster situation.

Ameritas has two data centers-one in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the result of a merger, and one in Lincoln-and Brugman, whos in training to possibly take over management reins in a couple of years, is trying to learn all she can as fast as she can.

"We've got certain issues were trying to solve involving integration, and I think we'll have good ideas to share when we get back," Brugman said.

Read more here about how the EPA plans to improve server energy efficiency.

Another data center manager, who asked that he not be identified because he's not officially empowered to speak for his company, said he came to the conference looking specifically for cooling help.

"We're spending about eight times more on cooling than we should be," he said. "We've got [alternative] natural gas engines and diesel engines, yet we're spending $35,000 per month on power. We put in daylight dimming and other measures, and we can drop a quarter-megawatt demand in a minute and nobody in the building would notice anything.

"We are monetizing our alternative power assets pretty well," he said. "We will get credit from the utility for coming under our ceiling-we have pre-negotiated rates. We come in under our peak 2-hour allowance each day. Going forward, the [refurbished] facility we are building will look totally different in a year or so. Electrical is now the largest cost within our group, and it's teed up to be even larger, so we've had to make some big moves

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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