Uptime conference will focus on strategy that marries IT reliability must-haves with energy-efficiency goals

The economy is quite different than the last time the Uptime Institute held its Green IT Symposium, and apparently this factor is helping stalling some of the energy-efficiency initiatives that people were so excited about last year.

The economy is quite different than the last time the Uptime Institute held its Green IT Symposium, and apparently this factor is helping stalling some of the energy-efficiency initiatives that people were so excited about last year.

Not surprisingly, the focus of the gathering a few weeks from now in New York City will be less on how to build more efficient NEW data centers (something that was a big deal when there was a data center construction boom happening a couple of years ago) and moreso on how to whip existing ones into better shape through consolidation, virtualization technology and so on. Lean and green. Nothing you haven't heard before.

Ken Brill, executive director of the Uptime Institute, says the organization will offer an update/reality check on its members' progress made toward recommendations from last year's gathering. Those suggestions included:

  • Appointing an energy czar (something that Uptime's updated research indicates close to half of businesses have yet to do, according to Brill).
  • Corralling information about data center energy consumption TOGETHER with information about facilities energy usage.
  • Embracing an asset management strategy to get a better handle on what tech is around, as well as the power it uses.
  • Include power consumption metrics in total cost of ownership calculations.

Uptime continues to advocate what it calls Corporate Average Datacenter Efficiency (CADE), a benchmark that it hopes to see double by the year 2012. CADE in its current form includes both IT efficiency (which is something that ALL businesses care about) times Facility Efficiency. IT Efficiency is broken down into asset utilization and energy efficiency, while Facility Efficiency includes site asset utilization and site energy efficiency.

"Part of it is looking at asset efficiency and part of it is looking at energy efficiency," Brill says.

Top IT initiatives to embrace right away for an immediate power boost include:

  • Killing the roughly 15 percent of your servers that are comatose
  • Virtualizing 40 percent of applications
  • Replacing 20 percent of existing servers with more efficient hardware

If you're interested in attending the symposium, here's the link for more information.

Since the conference is local to me this year, I look forward to reporting from the event. Stay tuned.

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