Issues Preventing Green IT

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2007-08-14 Print this article Print

Adoption"> Likewise, Samuel Naffziger, a senior fellow with AMD—which is preparing to launch its quad-core Opterons in September—touted the PowerNow technology in his companys processors, which can automatically increase or decrease the amount of power to the chip depending on demand. In response to a question from the audience, several panelists agreed that if an enterprise used all the energy-efficient features available today in its data center it could see a cost savings of as much as 50 percent.
The key, they said, is convincing users to implement the technologies. For a variety of reasons, enterprises are not adopting these cost-saving technologies on a wholesale basis. One challenge is that enterprise IT folks rarely deal with the budget issues of data centers—which normally fall to another unit that runs the facilities—so they dont usually have to worry about the costs associated with the technology thats put into data centers. That gap needs to bridged, Taylor said.
"Until IT takes ownership of the facilities … were not going to solve this problem," he said. Another issue is that there is a natural delay between the time when these new technologies become available and when businesses can bring them on board during their normal refresh cycles, Baker said. In addition, it takes time before technologies such as virtualization enter the mainstream. "Theres a lag to everything," he said. "Patience is one thing we should have, to some extent. Im not confident this economic meltdown will last." Still, users will have to take advantage of the technologies available to them if they want to ease the power crunch. Brent Kerby, product marketing manager for Opteron at AMD, said only about 10 percent of users enable the power management capabilities in their processors. "People just arent taking advantage of this," he said. Dick Sullivan, senior marketing manager for EMC, said customers are looking for help, but not enough of them are taking advantage of what is already available. Read more here about how the government may consider a tax break as an incentive for more energy-efficient IT products. Naffziger agreed. "As much sophistication as we put into [AMD chips], a lot of [the power-saving features go] go untapped," he said. Richard Villars, an analyst with IDC, questioned whether the panelists were "blaming the victim a little here," challenging them on whether they were criticizing users on one hand while they and their channel partners were selling businesses these power-hungry products on the other. Several panelists said they wont sell large systems to users without sending an engineer to the customer site to evaluate what that data center can support. Baker said a key will be giving enterprises the tools and standards needed to measure their power consumption, an important step in helping them determine how best to become more efficient. "You cant manage what you dont measure," he said. In addition, he and other panelists said that the more vendors can work together to give users a holistic approach to power savings and to automate as much of the work as possible, the easier it will be for businesses to adopt energy-efficient technologies. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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