data center power savings VMware

Green data center, green campus

PG&E wecandothis.comI’m working on my Facebook account last night (look for more VMware-related activity there; come on by!) when I hear "virtualization" and "data center" on the TV. That’s unusual enough that my ears perk up and I reach for the Tivo remote to get the whole thing. Turns out PG&E has launched a new site,, about energy efficiency. Part of the effort is in promoting their virtualization rebates for data centers that reduce their hardware footprint. Unfortunately, it’s a crappy Flash site, so I can’t point you directly to the virtualization video, but go there and click on the computer that labels itself "Server Virtualization" when your mouse hovers over it. The spot has some nice visuals and ends with a lonely rack in the data center you see to your right. Good stuff.

On a similar green theme, our campus was featured in today’s San Jose Mercury News. Link: San Jose Mercury News – New VMWare campus is green, open and inviting.

Most companies want to
foster collaboration among workers, but VMWare* also wants to make the
most of the hilly Palo Alto site, where hundreds of trees already were
growing. Kevin Burke, a partner with William McDonough, said that
Greene was clear that VMWare’s campus should enhance connections
between people and with nature.

"We placed a great deal of emphasis on integration of the building with
the landscape," he said, noting that 80 foot-tall redwoods and
eucalyptus trees were saved, and even a heritage oak was boxed for two
years during construction and then replanted. It is thriving. …

As far as Greene is concerned, it’s worth every penny. She wanted the
campus to be as sustainable as possible, down to the cafeteria floor
composed of recycled beer bottles and hardwood floors elsewhere on the
campus that were saved from a Wisconsin barn once owned by Thomas

Among her favorite features, however, are the bridges, which allow
employees to walk from building to building. She said she got the idea
for bridges from one of Apple’s Cupertino campuses.

"It’s the feature that has gotten the most feedback as to why people
enjoy it," Burke said. "People can get up from their desk and go for a
walk. It’s a marvelous stroll. Plus, there’s something fun about
walking across a bridge."

Windows, too, were given high priority, not only for their ability to
let in light, but also fresh air. At VMWare, 750 windows open and close.

Love the new campus, the bridges, and our windows that actually open. Ah, fresh air. It can get pretty bright, so I’m seeing umbrellas, tarps, and other light-blocking strategies crop up.

The interior layout is also good, but a little twisty when you’re trying to give directions. Although there’s a lobby for visitors with a cool waterfall, the rest of the place has no ‘front’ and no long corridors or other thoroughfares through the buildings. Every building mixes engineering with other groups, so there’s a great mix of people as you zig-zag across the campus.

*p.s. VMware, not VMWare, please. Doesn’t the SJ Mercury News have copy editors?


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