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IT and data center sustainability, the other convergence zone

IT and data center sustainability, the other convergence zone

By Greg Schulz

Storage I/O trends

IT and data center sustainability convergence

Recently Hailey Lynne McKeefry (@HaileyMcK), Editor in Chief over at Data Center Acceleration (@DataAccelerate) reached out for a conversation about well, data center themes and topics. Given Hailey's background in covering technology as well as business supply chain we somehow ended up talking about business, IT and data center sustainability. Hailey wrote a piece about Driving for Datacenter Sustainability and in addition I was honored to be an invited guest for a live on-line chat yesterday (you can view the conversation here).

Excerpt from Haileys piece:

Too often, sustainability efforts in the datacenter are written off as feel-good, public relations efforts. In reality, green is about economics -- and done well, it can save the datacenter tons of cash.

"You mention green, and datacenter managers run or cringe and roll their eyes, because there's been so much green washing done in the past few years," said Greg Schulz, founder of IT consultancy StorageIO. "It's really about green economics, though, and getting more work done with the same budget."

Read more of Hailey's piece here

Many different faces of IT and data center sustainability

Granted, when you here the term sustainability, IT and data centers you may think of different things depending on your view or area of focus.

For some it will be Green or environmental focused such as use of renewable and EH&S themes, recycling among others Related to the previous item some will see sustainability as being tied to energy, either tied to cost, availability/accessibility, standby or alternative and renewable Yet for others, it will mean business continuance (BC), disaster recovery (DR), business resiliency (BR), high availability or reliability availability service (RAS) among others Then the economics concerns of keeping the business running to discuss top and bottom line concerns.

Otoh, if your focus is on one of the above or a subset of one of them, you might not view the other areas as being tied to sustainability.

It data center sustainability

Likewise, you might even want to not be included in another other, let alone share your area with others. For example if your focus is on security you may not want to see or hear that data protection is part of sustainability, not to mention backup/restore, bc, dr and so forth.

Learning, education and knowledge sustainability

Part of sustainability is also continuing to learn about new things not only in your field or focus area, also in adjacent spaces.

Keep in mind that there is more of a data center or information factory than just a building or facility with power, cooling as there are the technologies, tools, people, process, delivery/distribution network, warehouse for storing raw and finished material, metrics and management that all go into delivering the product which is information services.

Hence there are many aspects to IT and data center sustainability and thus think more pragmatically about sustaining information factories, however lets also be realistic and not jump the shark by declaring everything as sustainable ;).

Check out the live talk chat that we had yesterday over at Data Center Acceleration by clicking here.

Some related more reading:
Green IT, Green Gap, Tiered Energy and Green Myths
The new Green IT: Efficient, Effective, Smart and Productive
Saving Money with Green IT: Time To Invest In Information Factories
PUE, Are you Managing Power, Energy or Productivity?
Green IT deferral blamed on economic recession might be result of green gap
IT and storage economics 101, supply and demand
The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) - Intel Recommended Reading List
Driving for Datacenter Sustainability
Live Chat 01/23: Building the Sustainable Datacenter

Ok, nuff said


Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

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More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

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