power savings VMworld Europe 2008

RedMonk’s James Governor: How Virtualisation Improves the Environment

James Governor posts on the plane home from VMworld Europe over on his Greenmonk site. As ‘open-source’ and ‘bottom-up’ analysts, the RedMonk folks are very clued in and have their ears close to the ground.  Green IT translates directly into dollars even if you don’t care about that ‘good for the planet’ stuff.

Link: How Virtualisation Improves the Environment: VMing the World.

Running VMware on production servers for Windows-based applications
can drive utilisation up from only 15% into the 90%+ mark. Not only can
virtualisation help an organisation to make its existing servers run
more efficiently, it can also reduce total numbers of servers by adding
more flexibility into the mix. What is the difference between a QA
server, a development machine, or a production box? Not much. By making
it easier to provision, re-provision, and decommission servers
virtualisation can reduce the need for every silo to have its own
boxes. Centralising a server sprawl can help an organisation get a
handle on its total energy consumption, and potentially lower cooling
and energy costs through economies of scale. …

If the only reason an organisation chooses to go down the
virtualisation route is to lower costs that is fantastic. Doing
so doesn’t make the efficiency gains less significant. Cutting costs and going green go hand in  hand. …

I heard a few nice examples at VMworld. Thus Aspen,
the reinsurance company, is currently rolling out thin clients, more
like old school mainframe terminals but with rich media
capabilities, to its end-users. Aspen calculates, in conjunction with
their consulting partner BSG, that the average Windows PC consumes
about 150 Watts of power. The new thin clients- nearer 8. Watts not to
like? Aspen is even considering rolling out these thin clients to its
users at home. …

Efficiency is green- we should praise efficiency, not bury it. The
reasons don’t matter- but the results do. I spoke to someone this
morning who said customers don’t really care about green, but just
wanted to know how many dollars they would save in deploying
virtualisation technology, and therefore tech companies shouldn’t talk
about eco issues. I think this misunderestimates some important
dynamics. Few customers are going to choose a technology just because
its labelled green, its true, but some might well be put off by a
supplier arguing that green issues don’t matter.

If green IT is a fad I am going to celebrate it while it lasts.
VMware has already done a lot for the environment, just by helping us
make Windows servers more efficient, whether or not it markets the
fact. Thanks Diane and Mendel!


0 comments have been added so far

  1. The initial teaser is a bit vague… “can drive utilisation up from only 15% into the 90%+ mark” — heck, I can do that with a poorly designed program. I’ve had IE do that by itself when bringing up a badly-designed website.
    It could be worded better: “VMWare allows the user to utilize more of the idle processor power, getting gains of 500%”.

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