For many at this New York, NY, Symposium, presentations by Google executives Bill Weihl and Chris Malone have been highlight events. The reported 1600 total attendees filled the main conference room for their presentations.
In separate sessions, Weihl described aspects of Google's environmental program and Malone shared details about Google's six data centers, which are achieving PUEs of under 1.20.
Many of these details were new to attendees. Still in a sign of the times, others had read about Google's use of containers, air containment, airside economizers, and other technologies in electronic media, following their April 1 open house. Some Tweeters and Bloggers issued reports and provided links before the event had even ended. Dave Ohara's blog provided a lot of information. And Google itself has established a dedicated url.
Though Weihl and Malone claimed that operators of modern data centers could achieve similar results by applying the techniques to their own facilities, these claims were greeted with skepticism by several, including Chris Johnston of Syska Hennessy. These skeptics noted that Google had dedicated more resources to this effort than other organizations could afford and that it had more homogenous hardware and software and also a more fault tolerant application than other industries.
Even in the face of some pointed public questions, Weihl and Malone both insisted that the keys to their success lay not in exotic technologies but rather in successful execution of best practices and that their results could be emulated by others.
Other major industry players also provided speakers to the event. These sessions divided neatly between two topics, the energy czar and green initiatives.
Though relatively lightly attended by event standards, one Tuesday session that saw Ken Brill, executive director of the Uptime Institute, interview four "energy czars" revealed significant insight into the potential for energy savings this tactic can achieve The four energy czars questioned each other and shared practical advise for achieving immediate energy savings at low cost. and their outlooks for the future.
Uptime saved its biggest announcement for today, when it released a report along with knowledge partner McKinsey that challenged the short-term viability of cloud computing. The report concludes, "The cost of cloud must come down significantly for outsourcing a complete data center to make economic sense."
McKinsey and Uptime say that clouds already make sense for many small and medium-size businesses, but technical, operational and financial hurdles will need to be overcome before clouds will be used extensively by large public and private enterprises, rather than create unrealizable expectations for “internal clouds."
The McKinsey-Uptime report suggests that CIOs should focus now on the immediate benefits of virtualizing server storage, network operations, and other critical building blocks.They also suggest that users, hardware vendors, and service suppliers can take specific steps to ensure the successful adoption of cloud technology-and prevent it from getting stuck in the “trough of disillusionment.”
The report outlines several significant hurdles to the adoption of cloud services by large enterprises. The report states:
Current cloud computing offerings are not cost effective compared to large enterprise data centers
Security and reliability concerns will have to be mitigated and applications re-architected
The IT supply and demand organizations will have to adapt to function in a cloud-centric world
Business perceptions of increased IT flexibility and effectiveness will have to be properly managed.
The entire report can be downloaded at: Uptime
Bruce Taylor of Uptime headlined a Cisco Telepresence event on Wednesday morning, designed to show how technology might provide a key to reducing carbon savings. In this case, the content of the presentation wasn't as important as the demonstration. The ability to bring together key players from around the world was certainly impressive and very suitable for a meeting or a presentation. And the energy savings and time savings over travel are significant.
The quality of the discussion was a bonus. The Telepresence enabled a good discussion between the audience and a group of experts assembled elsewhere in New York and in Singapore, Sacramento, Milan, and Johannesburg. At one point Rob Aldridge of Cisco sparred with an audience member from his desk in Sacramento over Cisco's side-to-side cooled products.
Aldridge also posted a slide showing that carbon savings from hosting the event via Telepresence totaled 54,500 pounds.
The participating speakers were:
Energy Policy Analyst
National Resources Defense Council
Dr. Tan Geok Leng
Chief Technology Officer
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
VP Industry and Government Alliances
APC by Schneider Electric
Founding Board Member of The Green Grid
Technology Manager, Industrial Technologies Program
US Department of Energy
Product Development Team Leader, ENERGY STAR Program
US Environmental Protection Agency
8. Mr. Lee Eng Lock
General Manager, Energy Division
Vice President of the Data Center Technology & Engineering Group
Head Electrical Engineering Services
MTN South Africa
Hennie van der Westhuizen
Senior Engineer Mechanical
MTN South Africa
Senior Manager and Principal
Efficiency Assurance Program, Cisco System