Tag: asset management

IBM based mobile, crowdsourced-reporting application helps schools speed up repairs

Leaking tap
Attending IBM’s Pulse 2012 event this year I was again struck by how much IBM’s Maximo is used in maintenance management applications.

And why do we care about that I hear you say?

Well, keeping machinery properly maintained, and alerting if machines go out of tolerance for certain parameters (energy consumption spikes in refrigeration plant, fuel or oil consumption in engines, even the presence (or absence) or certain chemicals, etc.) is often an early sign that that machine/system is faulty. Sometimes this fault can result in extra consumption of a resource, other times it can be a safety issue. In any case the measurement and alerting can can kick off a pro-active maintenance ticket which may otherwise have been missed.

Correct scheduling of servicing for a lot of machinery is a sustainability win too. If machines are not serviced according to the manufacturers schedule, consumption tends to increase, but properly maintained they are safer, and consume typically less.

I came across an interesting example of this recently with IBM’s announcement of a project to make the US’s 2nd largest school district one of its greenest and most sustainable.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has 700,000 students, 14,000 buildings spread over 710 square miles in California. It receives more than 300,000 maintenance service requests per year.

How are IBM going to improve it?

They are allowing students, teachers and staff to report issues like water leaks, broken aircon/heating, exposed cables and so on, by sending text messages and photos through their mobile phones. One receipt of the text…

Data Center War Stories talks to SAP’s Jürgen Burkhardt

And we’re back this week with the second installment in our Data Center War Stories series (sponsored by Sentilla).

This second episode in the series is with Jürgen Burkhardt, Senior Director of Data Center Operations, at SAP‘s HQ in Walldorf, Germany. I love his reference to “the purple server” (watch the video, or see the transcript below!).

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Tom Raftery: Hi everyone welcome to GreenMonk TV. Today we are doing a special series called the DataCenter War Stories. This series is sponsored Sentilla and with me today I have Jürgen Burkhardt. Jürgen if I remember correctly your title is Director of DataCenter Operations for SAP is that correct?

Jürgen Burkhardt: Close. Since I am 45, I am Senior Director of DataCenter Operations yes.

Tom Raftery: So Jürgen can you give us some kind of size of the scale and function of your DataCenter?

Jürgen Burkhardt: All together we have nearly 10,000 square meters raised floor. We are running 18,000 physical servers and now more than 25,000 virtual servers out of this location. The main purpose is first of all to run the production systems of SAP. The usual stuff FI, BW, CRM et cetera, they are all support systems, so if you have ABAP on to the SAP in marketplace, you, our service marketplace, this system is running here in Waldorf Rot, whatever you see from sap.com is running here to a main extent. We are running the majority of all development systems here and all training — the majority of demo and consulting system worldwide at SAP.

We have more than 20 megawatt of computing power here. I mentioned the 10,000 square meters raised floor. We have 15 — more than 15 petabyte of usable central storage, back up volume of 350 terabyte a day and more than 13,000 terabyte in our back up library.

Tom Raftery: Can you tell me what are the top issues you come across day to day in running your DataCenter, what are the big ticket items?

Jürgen Burkhardt: So one of the biggest problems we clearly have is the topic of asset management and the whole logistic process. If you have so many new servers coming in, you clearly need very, very sophisticated process, which allows you to find what we call the Purple Server, where is it, where is the special server? What kind of — what it is used for? Who owns it? How long is it already used? Do we still need it and all that kind of questions is very important for us.

And this is also very important from an infrastructure perspective, so we have so many stuff out there, if we start moving servers between locations or if we try to consolidate racks, server rooms and whatsoever, it’s absolutely required for us to know exactly where something is, who owns it, what it is used for etcetera, etcetera. And this is really one of our major challenges we have currently.

Tom Raftery: Are there any particular stories that come to mind, things issues that you’ve hit on and you’ve had to scratch your head and you’ve resolved them, that you want to talk about?