Money, Power and Taking Aim at Microsoft

Opinion: This week was all about money, power, the Gordian knot of storage in the enterprise and Novell's plan to take the wind out of Windows.

In data centers, as in so much of life, its all about money and power: How can you make your site cooler and more energy-efficient? Some IT pros are hopping like Energizer Bunnies to DC power. Senior Editor Jeffrey Burt explains how DC may reduce the amount of heat and power—and money—lost before reaching your servers.

Making the switch from AC isnt without its own costs, Burt reports; retrofitting a data center entails construction costs and heavier cabling to handle the change in current.

For a real-world look at DC power consumption, check out Senior Writer Anne Chens review of Rackable Systems new server based on Intels Low Voltage Xeon 2GHz chip. Meanwhile, tracking incremental power consumption from server to server is still a less-than-exact science.

To address the latter concern, Sun, AMD and other companies are teaming with the Environmental Protection Agency to cook up an Energy Star rating for your server. With a standard in place, IT managers will theoretically be better able to plug energy consumption into their ROI equations.

And speaking of ROI, this weeks cover package takes a slice at the Gordian knot of storage in the enterprise. The data pile keeps growing, and the stakes keep rising, thanks to burgeoning compliance issues. Differentiating the many flavors of data at your enterprise and matching each to the proper stripe of storage is the foundation of information lifecycle management.

The roots of ILM stretch back more than a decade to the advent of hierarchical storage management. But unlike your fathers HSM—which organized files by creation date, frequency of use and other simple attributes—the new paradigm is far savvier about the real content and value of each piece of data.

On other infrastructure fronts, Senior Editor Peter Galli spent much of last week in Salt Lake City at BrainShare, Novells annual developer conference. Galli reports on the companys scheme to take the wind out of Windows by convincing users that the move to Novells Linux products will be less pricey or painful than upgrading to Windows Vista or Office 2007.

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