Going green should not just be a corporate social responsibility

DQI Bureau
New Update

What are some of the key trends on the green IT initiatives?

According to an IDC survey, power and cooling costs will grow eight fold by

2010, with continued deployment of applications and data doubling every eighteen

months. Gartner findings show that the power consumption required to run and

cool data centers accounts for almost a quarter of global carbon dioxide

emissions from the ICT sector. The StorageIO Group reports that storage itself

accounts for 37-40% of total energy usage from hardware.


With business accounting for a substantial share of greenhouse gas pollution,

many organizations have developed social responsibility policies to help protect

the environment. All these factors are prompting businesses to look at

innovative ways to become more efficient users of power in order to comply with

government policies, control their budgets and protect their reputations, along

with the environment. Consolidating storage though intelligent pooling of

storage resources and use of thin provisioning can delay storage purchases,

resulting in far fewer unused disks spinning and consuming power. By tiering

storage resources and aligning the right storage characteristics to the value of

information, organizations can use platforms that utilize disk spin-down

technologies for archived data, like those that are not frequently accessed.

Why do you call your data centers green?

At Hitachi, one of the things that we realized early, was that information

is growing exponentially. If we take a three year horizon from 2009-11, the

amount of data that would be stored in enterprises would be tremendous and that

power, cooling, and space would be required. This poses as a huge challenge for

us and the reality hits straight back on our face that we will not have enough

power to generate the information that the enterprises require. Hitachi has a

concept known as Monozukuri, the companys definition for creating products of

sustainable value. Every single product that we manufacture typically starts off

with green disciplines, built into the design phase, all the way up to the end

life of the product. We came with a strategy to reduce the cooling and heating

requirements to 50% by 2012. Our data center in Yokohama, Japan built in 10,000

square meter incorporated all the power efficient data center technologies and

green disciplines. The benchmarking of this data center was also done with a

rating of 1.6 PUE (power usage effectiveness).


Has there been much acceptance of green IT initiatives in India?Green

IT is relevant for the Indian enterprises. CXOs and IT managers have also begun

to realize the importance of the same. Green IT is not only about being socially

responsible, but it is also a key contributor to the cost optimization and

control. In the past AC and power was never in the purview of the CIO. It was

always the responsibility of the facilities and administration team. Businesses

have started to realize that the data center contributes significantly to the

power bill and hence have started making the CIOs accountable. The CIOs then

tend to show more consideration to the power and the cooling aspects of

technology in their decision making. We are seeing some of the forward looking

CIOs including power and cooling specifications not only as a part of the RFP,

but also as a key evaluation criteria. It is only a matter of time before this

becomes default. This is where technology vendors who have advocated green over

the years and have designed products and technology around these will have a

clear advantage.

What are the initiatives taken at proof-of-concept lab?

Hitachi Data Systems has one proof-of-concept lab at Bengaluru called

Services Oriented Storage Solutions (SOSS) Center and the second one in Mumbai.

The SOSS Center showcases our industrys leading storage solutions for customers

and prospects. The center houses all the latest products and solutions from the

HDS portfolio. This means, there is no gap between the time a product or a

technology is introduced in the market and the time it finds a place in the SOSS

Center. The center has state-of-the-art storage hardware and software

infrastructure and is managed by a team of expert professionals from Hitachi

Data Systems. It features the benefits of HDS technologies to customer such as

controller based storage virtualization, storage management, performance

management, and consolidation. The idea of having a SOSS Center is to help

customers visualize the impact and benefit of the deployment of storage

solutions in their IT environment. This proof-of-concept lab is a strong

testament of Hitachis commitment to the marketplace where we would be focused

on helping our customers to build eco-friendly data centers and reducing the

power consumption.

How do you see the role of virtualization in green initiatives?

Virtualization enables better utilization through tiered storage and common

management frameworks. Open system storage utilization is at best 50%, according

to a research conducted by the Enterprise Storage Group. This has also helped

our partners grow their revenue not just on products but on services as well. We

are helping customers to consolidate more storage through storage

virtualization, in order to remove wastage. We are the only vendor to offer

externally attached storagewhich means that the devices can sit outside of the

data center reducing the amount of heat generating devices in one place. This

initiative has surely helped us grow our revenue as customers are really seeing

benefits in our virtualization and thin provisioning technology.


Do you believe that there has been an increasing demand of green products

even during the slowdown?

The green concept is a top business concern for our customers even in the

slowdown. One of the key concerns is the rising energy costs. Therefore, IT

buyers are now starting to focus on operational power consumption and are also

becoming more environmentally aware. Enterprises are increasingly concerned with

finding technologies to improve utilization and prolong the shelf-life of their

IT equipments. One key reason why green products will be in demand is due to the

concern of power disruptions that are becoming common. Companies across

verticals cannot be sure of a consistent supply.

What would be your suggestions to enterprises who want to set up green

data centers?

More organizations would come up with a Green Charter and with a timeline

for execution of their projects. They would not only see the green initiatives

as a corporate social responsibility but also as a medium to optimize costs.

However, IT by itself cannot execute green initiatives and objectives it has to

take help from facilities and administration. IT needs to look at technologies

such as server and storage virtualization that simplify management and

eliminates storage silos. Organizations should also implement active archiving

since it has significant benefits and contributes to the organizations overall

green initiatives.

Suraj PC