I attended Symantec’s Vision 2010 event in Barcelona yesterday and I found it to be hugely frustrating!
Symantec are one of the world’s largest computer security companies with 31,000 customers, 18,400 employees (PDF), and revenue in 2009 of $6.2 billion.
At yesterday’s Vision event however, they missed lots of great opportunities to talk up their Green story! I sat through the keynote from CEO Enrique Salem and presentations from the business unit leads and there was not one mention of the word Sustainability or even Green.
Deepak Mohan at Symantec Vision 2010
Deepak Mohan, SVP of the Information Management Group came closest when he mentioned efficiencies associated with de-duplication, eliminating redundancy, reducing data transfer and more efficient (that word again) search. Guys, these are obvious Green wins!
Things improved considerably in the afternoon when Fujitsu, a Symantec customer, spoke about the payback from installing a hosted email filtering solution from Symantec. Before the installation, Fujitsu were receiving in excess of 2m emails per day. Between 90-95% of these emails were spam. After the rollout of the email filtering solution, Fujitsu are now receiving 5-10% of their previous email load per day. As a consequence they were able to reduce their email infrastructure from sixteen servers down to two. Furthermore, they were able to reduce their network link requirements and their storage requirements for email. And finally they were able to free up IT resources who previously were tasked with managing the email infrastructure. This is a big Green win!
My Symantec Vision 2010 conference badge
Later in the afternoon I was especially heartened to have a one-to-one session with Symantec VP of Global Solutions, Jose Iglesias. Jose is the guy raising/waving the Green flag within Symantec. He informed me that Symantec have used their own technologies to reduce the electricity bill in their data centers by $3m (10%) per annum!
How do they do this?
I was lucky enough recently to meet Jose Iglesias, the guy spearheading Symantec’s sustainability efforts. I wrote the interview up over on Monkchips, but much of the content belongs here too. I like Symantec’s clear focus on energy. While others are broadening their sustainability story, Symantec is doubling down on managing energy more effectively, with a plan to take its expertise in reducing IT power consumption and start applying it to broader Smart Grid demand response.
Symantec’s Green IT story is very much an enterprise play and arguably a solid sustainability product strategy could help to increase visibility for some of Symantec’s enterprise tools. Thus for example – Symantec NetBackup PureDisk for storage deduplication could be used to cut the amount of storage and power. One challenge for Symantec is identifying and serving the new buyers in energy reduction. Most of the firm’s traditional practitioner purchasers are not tasked with reducing the energy footprint of the products they manage….
“We sell to admins, but few get compensated on energy savings”
To which I would say… not yet.
Smart Grid as Game Changer
One major opportunity for Symantec to change the account management game there is to parlay its IT experience directly into related spaces such as Smart Grid security and asset management…
I published this post on the IBM Global Eco Jam last week and it generated some interesting feedback so I thought I’d re-publish it here too to solicit your thoughts –
I was at the NewNet CleanTech Investors Summit in London last November.
At this event a poll was taken asking which CleanTech issues were perceived as being most important/having the most potential by the investment community – the answers were Energy Efficiency and Energy Storage.
I have seen several posts here on efficiency but none on energy storage so I said I’d start one.
What are the most interesting energy storage solutions people are seeing emerging.
I’ll kick off –
The two most interesting I have seen are
1. Thermal storage using heavily insulated bricks (!) for domestic energy storage (resistive heating) and
2. Metal air batteries – zinc air batteries are scheduled to come to market later this year. Zinc is abundant, cheap, non-toxic, non-explosive and readily recyclable. Zinc air batteries have an energy density about two to three times that of lithium ion batteries.
With that energy density and price point, it should be possible to build utility scale storage (allowing renewables to store excess energy when the wind is blowing strongly, and sell it when the wind drops or demand increases, for example).
Are there any other options people are seeing (and let’s leave pumped hydro out of this discussion – it is old tech, expensive and has significant environmental impacts).
One of the respondents pointed me to news out of Stanford in December that Stanford scientists are harnessing nanotechnology to quickly produce ultra-lightweight, bendable batteries and supercapacitors in from everyday paper!
What other interesting forms of energy storage have you come across?
My main computer is my laptop – it is a desktop replacement. The biggest issue with this is that laptop hard drives are, by definition, small 🙁
On my laptop I have all my music, all my photos and all my email going back to 1997! The laptop has a 120gb hard drive, but I am fast approaching that limit!
I have a La Cie 200gb external firewire which is fine for backups but what I really need is to be able to move my music and photos onto external drive(s), freeing up space on the laptop, and allowing me to grow my collection.
The drive(s) should be easy to add to, so that if I find I’m approaching the limit again, I can simply add another drive. I’d like to add drives in pairs so I can mirror them using RAID.
Has anyone any suggestions on a good way to set this up? And what is good kit to use (good = cheap and reliable).