Virtualization helped us reduce costs and swell our server utilization

Late 2007 saw EDS unveiling its Enterprise Lab facility in its
headquarters at Plano, Texas, and in May 2008, it opened its facility in Chennai
to provide efficient support systems for its clients. With environmental
considerations deeply rooted in implementing an exercise of this magnitude,
Dataquest spoke to Thomas Fabry, director of EDS Enterprise Labs, to know about
the environment related initiatives taken by the company. Excerpts

Virtualization of IT has been a turnaround for many corporations across
the world. EDS Labs has successfully embedded Green IT into its functioning. Do
you think clients really have a grasp of what Green IT initiatives could bring
to the table for them?
EDS, together with our EDS Agility Alliance partners and our clients,
collaborate on all aspects of Green IT. EDS has developed the Environmental
Index and Assessment for IT services and created a road map for improvement,
embracing the full IT life cycle. The road map, which is strategic and tactical,
encompasses priorities like creating break-through data center designs,
purchasing the highest SpecPower rated servers, and increasing the use of energy
from eco-friendly sources. It also includes seemingly small tactics that
together can have a significant cumulative impact, such as implementing power
management on over 90k desktop/laptop computers worldwide or implementing a
global recycling program that includes both office materials and retirement of
IT hardware assets.

Theres a lot of talk on reduction of carbon emission forming a critical
component in every organization. How does EDS fight its way toward a greener
computing scenario where constraints arising are due to technical, political,
and other reasons outside the control of IT?
This topic is top-of-the-mind for our company, our clients, and the
communities where we live and work. And, as you note, also highly complex. It is
at the heart of EDS environmental program. As part of our community
stewardship, EDS looks at reducing carbon emissions and improving environmental
sustainability as opportunities to drive change. Its what we do for EDS, with
our clients, and in our communities.

Thomas Fabry, director,
EDS Enterprise Labs

EDS is undertaking some initiatives to manage carbon for our clients as well
as our company. These will allow clients to understand the carbon footprint
associated with EDS services and solutions that dramatically improve efficiency.
EDS and clients, going forward, will need to agree more on the real value of IT
services provided and less on the servers, storage devices, racks, etc, so that
solutions can be built and continuously modified to reduce resource usage.

Could you give an example of an instance where EDS Enterprise Labs set out
to virtualize a lab environment?
We have always tested our solutions in a simulation production environment
at our labs before taking them to the market place. The explosive growth had
made us reach the limits of our capacity, and EDS decided to free some valuable
space and embark on virtualization of lab environment and freeing resources in
order to develop new solutions and services.

How did you go about the exercise?
At the beggining of 2007, we started a virtualization exercise, upgrading
our labs into a virtualization center, which is capable of housing 5,000 virtual
servers in a miniature 1,300 sq ft. space. This facility is the standard for the
expansion of our Enterprise Labs and we have featured real world offerings from
our Agility Alliance Partners such as EMC, Sun Microsystems, and Cisco.

Prasad Ramasubramanian
CyberMedia News

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