One of the biggest issues with any claims of Cloud Computing being energy efficient, or Green, is the lack of transparency from the Cloud Computing providers. None of them are publishing any data around the energy consumption, or emissions of their Cloud infrastructure. Without data to back them up, any claims of Cloud computing being efficient are worthless.
Last week, while at the RackSpace EMEA Analyst day, we were given a potted history of OpenStack, RackSpace’s Cloud Computing platform. OpenStack was jointly developed by NASA and RackSpace and they open-sourced it with an Apache License in July 2010.
What has this got to do with Cloud Computing and energy efficiency I hear you ask?
Well, it occurred to me, during the analyst day, that because OpenStack is open source, anyone can fork it and write a version with built-in energy and emissions reporting. What would be really cool is, if this functionality, having been written, became a part of the core distribution – then anyone deploying OpenStack, would have this functionality by default…
The machine in the photo above is HP’s newly announced Redstone server development platform.
Capable of fitting 288 servers into a 4U rack enclosure, it packs a lot of punch into a small space. The servers are System on a Chip based on Calxeda ARM processors but according to HP, future versions will include “Intel® Atom™-based processors as well as others”
These are not the kind of servers you deploy to host your blog and a couple of photos. No, these are the kinds of servers deployed by the literal shedload by hosting companies, or cloud companies to get the maximum performance for the minimum energy hit. This has very little to do with these companies developing a sudden green conscience, rather it is the rising energy costs of running server infrastructure that is the primary motivator here.
This announcement is part of a larger move by HP (called Project Moonshot), designed to advance HP’s position in the burgeoning low-energy server marketplace…
I attended a HP analyst summit last week in San Francisco and I have been putting off writing down my impressions of the event because I was, frankly, very disappointed.
Writing recently about HP’s announcement of their new Energy and Sustainability Solution, I noted that HP’s new CEO Léo Apotheker’s legacy from his time at SAP, is SAP’s deep commitment to sustainability. And I went on to speculate that it looks like he is bringing his sustainability stamp to HP as well. Sadly, I set myself up for a bit of a fall!
Jeff Katzenberg – HP Summit
The first day of the two day event was a series of talks from HP execs, starting, after the introduction, with Léo’s Keynote. After that there was a series of exec talks on Cloud, Connectivity, Digitization and Security followed by guest speaker Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks over lunch. During this he screened the trailer for Kung Fu Panda 2, which looked great!
In the afternoon there were talks on HP Services, Go To Market and HP Labs followed by a brief break and then back for a Q&A with Léo and the rest of the execs.
I waited the entire day and the first mention of the word Sustainability was by Prith Banarjee, director of HP Labs in the final session where he made a brief reference to it. The funny thing was that that was when Prith became most passionate and enthusiastic!
Earlier in the day, in the talk on digitization, Vyomesh Joshi (aka VJ) did mention that 200bn pages are going digital annually but he then ruined it by talking about one HP printing station which is printing 80m pages a month (that’s a lot of dead trees!) but worse was when…
So I wrote a post the other day entitled Have HP’s senior executives lost interest in Sustainability? after attending a HP event in San Francisco. It was a little unfair because I concentrated on the lack of mentions of Sustainability by senior management on the first day of the event while leaving out the fact that I had interesting discussions with people involved in sustainability initiatives within HP the following day.
One of those I talked to at the event, Deb Lyons, was concerned enough by my piece that she went to the trouble of emailing me some of HP’s more impressive Green initiatives:
HP published a fascinating paper [PDF] to quantify the carbon savings associated with switching from analog to digital printing and came up with a savings of somewhere between 114-251 MMtCO2 eq per annum (MMt CO2 is million metric tonnes of CO2) – similar to the savings which would be achieved by a broad implementation of lighting automation or extensive implementation of telecommuting!
When printing is absolutely necessary, HP have comprehensive paper conservation and sourcing policies which include “a goal that 40 percent or more of the HP branded paper sold will be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified or have more than 30 percent post-consumer waste content by the end of 2011″, an Eco Printing Assessment for customers and a reduction of paper shipped “in the box”
It is nice to see HP re-discovering its interest in sustainability especially, since former CEO Mark Hurd eviscerated any programs related to sustainability in HP during his tenure. As my colleague James noted, the real legacy Léo Apotheker, HP’s new CEO, left SAP (where he was formerly CEO) is SAP’s deep commitment to sustainability. It looks like he is bringing his sustainability stamp to HP as well, but I digress.
Smarter Buildings are obviously a big play what with buildings being responsible for anything up to 40% of the world’s energy use, and approximately 33% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – and then there is the market size to consider – every building on the planet potentially.
Though there is one qualification to that – I suspect in the cases of both HP and IBM, when they refer to Smarter Buildings, they are primarily referring to commercial real estate, not residential buildings…
HP today was ranked No. 1 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s (formerly known as CRO Magazine) 11th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List.
Climbing from fifth place in last year’s rankings, HP gained the No. 1 spot, as a result of its scores in seven criteria categories: environment, climate change, human rights, philanthropy, employee relations, financial and corporate governance.
As ships get bigger, the pollution is getting worse. The most staggering statistic of all is that just 16 of the world’s largest ships can produce as much lung-clogging sulphur pollution as all the world’s cars.
At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Porsche unveiled a hybrid supercar that gets 78 MPG and does 0 to 60 in just 3.2 seconds. In fact, it’s faster than Porsche’s latest supercar, the Carrera GT. Meet the Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept and begin drooling!
At least 21 workers died and 50 were hurt when a fire swept through a Bangladeshi factory making clothes for budget retailer H&M and other firms as they worked at night to fulfil orders.
The blaze at the Garib & Garib Newaj company – which makes cardigans and jumpers for the Swedish fashion chain – follows repeated concerns by a British charity about fire safety at factories making garments for Western shops.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu — the rockstar geek Nobel Prize winner — announced at the first ARPA-E summit on Tuesday that the Department of Energy will hand out $100 million in a third round of grants to early stage greentech startups through the ARPA-E program. Specifically this round of grants will focus on energy efficiency technologies including grid storage, power converter technology, and building cooling technology
Marks & Spencer is to step up its plans to go “green” by opting for more sustainable ingredients and agreeing a living wage for suppliers in its bid to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015.
IBM recently ran a ‘Jam’ – an online discussion – on environmental sustainability and why it is important for CIOs, CEOs and CFOs to address it. The Jam involved thousands of practitioners and subject matter experts from some 200 organisations. It focused primarily on business issues and practical actions.
Take a look at the check list below and it becomes rapidly apparent, C-level management need to tackle the issue before it is foisted upon them.
IBM’s Institute for Business Value will fully analyse the 2080 Jam contributions, but this is the essential CIO checklist derived from comments made during the Eco-Jam.
Data centers are, thankfully, getting a lot of attention when it comes to making them more efficient. Considering that roughly 60% of the electricity used at a data center goes to keeping the servers cool, focusing on smart cooling tactics is essential. HP has taken this to heart and has opened it’s first wind-cooled data center, and it’s the company’s most efficient data center to date.
In this piece, HP claims that their data center is the world’s first wind-cooled data center – I’m not sure just how valid this is as I have heard BT only do wind-cooled data centers!
In response to an environmental lawsuit filed against the oil giant, Chevron has fortified its defenses with at least twelve different public relations firms whose purpose is to debunk the claims made against the company by indigenous people living in the Amazon forests of Ecuador. According to them, Chevron dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste in the Amazon between 1964 and 1990, causing damages assessed at more than $27 billion.
Indian mobile phone and commodity export firm Airvoice Group has formed a joint venture with public sector body Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam to build 13GW of solar and wind capacity in a sparsely populated part of Karnataka district in south west India.
The joint venture is budgeting to invest $50 billion over a period of 10 years, claiming it to be the largest single renewable energy project in the world.
Using coal for electricity produces CO2, and climate policy aims to prevent greenhouse gases from hurting our habitat. But it also produces SOx and NOx and particulate matter that have immediate health dangers.
A University of Wisconsin study was able to put an economic value on just the immediate health benefits of enacting climate policy. Implications of incorporating air-quality co-benefits into climate change policymaking found coal is really costing us about $40 per each ton of CO2.
Scott Anderson is the Director of Enterprise Brand Communications for Hewlett-Packard – I just listened to the IT Conversations podcast of Scott Anderson’s talk at the Syndicate conference last December. Scott talked about business blogging and how HP got into it – it is a fascinating podcast, I strongly recommend you listen to it if you get a chance.
In the meantime, I’d love to interview Scott on the PodLeaders show – if anyone has contact details for him, please leave a comment or email me at email@example.com
Tom Raftery – Global VP, Futurist, and Innovation Evangelist for SAP, inspirational keynote speaker, and global influencer's take on how digitization and innovation are creatively disrupting our world