There is no shortage of rhetoric on green IT amongst our esteemed muckety-mucks, but Google "data center case study" and see for yourself the limited progress that has been made.
Google has an impressive track record. But with 100's of thousands of servers you would hope they were doing something. And take note, the solar project has a 7 year cost recovery, and a 25 year pay back. For most of us smaller businesses, ROI is this week, and remaining employed next month is long term planning.
As a 7 times serial entrepreneur, this all seemed like the perfect opportunity to investigate further.
It turns out that the problem is quite simple, the up front cost and effort for the payback is not in IT's top 3 (possibly even top 10) cost savings list. And combined with all the other stuff to do without those laid off folk we used to have, hoping to still take a peek at the much cooler stuff, and of course slashdot, nothing much is being done.
Gartner put out a recent article 7 ways to cut data center costs
In the article they claim $400.00 in possible energy savings per year per server. Now I do not want to argue with my esteemed, but what servers are we talking about. A top of the range Dell server uses around 300Watts at 100% load. Using 15c per Kwh the annual electricity bill is $394.20 Even if you could save 10%, virtual servers may be the way do this assuming you are willing to turn unused server capacity off, the savings are more like $39.42 per year.
As you can see , for a business with less than 500 servers, who account for around 50% of the worlds servers, it may get hard to justify spending anything, let alone the typical entry costs of commercial solutions from - sorry promoting open source not you !
But, the problem is not going away, and it is up to us, the new generation of technology innovators to tackle this issue.
We must provide FREE, easy to use software solutions for data center energy management, that do not require up front expenditure to get working. An open source extension to Cacti, energyManager uses the SNMP interfaces on smart PDU's to record and graph energy use. A step by step on-line tutorial should have the average slashdot reader equipped with a new VM, Ubuntu, and the whole set up working in a couple of hours.
And do not fall into the trap of doing nothing without the perfect "all in" solution. Make a start, measure what you can, and build from there! Please remember to do a little something for your open source supplier, particularly if you want the solution to be like the "wish list" of those earlier mention esteemed. Cash is best, but promote, twitter, read and encourage are all good - I say a big thanks to the user who posted a simple message your tut is great, I may not be wealthy, but I do value feeling appreciated?
In my humble conclusion, if we are serious about Green IT, it will come from us, the "grass roots", the pioneers of better ways.
Let's get saving then, from your fellow un-esteemed!
Open4Energy - Get Smart about Energy™