March saw a number of industry events dedicated primarily to facilities solutions to energy problems in data centers. Datacenter Dynamics held a great event in New York and Data Center World had a very good event in Vegas. The Uptime Institute will also focus on the issue during their April Symposium, Lean, Green, and Mean.
Yet Dell and Cisco made announcements during March that may affect the costs of operating a data center quite significantly. HP has scheduled an important announcement for March 30th to keep pace with its old and new competitor.
Cisco's entry into the server market was accompanied by its announcement that it would begin offering what it called Unified Computer Services as a major step towards cloud computing offerings. The Cisco server would be an important element of a closed architecture developed with large players in the data center space. Cisco promises its architecture will
- Streamline data center resources
⁃ Scale service delivery
⁃ Radically reduce the number of devices requiring setup, management, power/cooling, and cabling
Seemingly in response, Dell made a series of product announcements highlighting its historic strength in the space. Their announcement included
⁃ Fourteen new enterprise products help customers cut costs and complexity through simplified management, industry leading virtualization and innovative design
⁃ New blades, servers and workstations set standards in performance, design and energy efficiency
⁃ New enterprise-class storage hardware, software and services optimized for virtualized environments
⁃ New software and services obliterate cost and complexity of IT management.
During the videoconference, Emerson's Stephen C. Hassell, vice president and chief information officer, said, "One of Emerson’s key business strategies is to deliver data center energy-efficiency solutions to our customers, and we also are extremely focused on ensuring that our own data centers are as operationally and energy efficient as possible. So when we began a consolidation of Emerson’s data centers and planning for a new state-of-the-art center, we conducted an exhaustive search for next-generation blade servers that delivered both high performance, especially in a virtualized environment, and energy-efficiency gains. That is why we selected Dell’s eleventh-generation PowerEdge blade servers.”
Don't expect HP to sit on the sidelines. This traditional leader in the server market has already introduced a number of service products designed to extend its presence in the data center, plus its purchase of EYP Mission Critical Facilities provides it with the wherewithal to leverage its position in the server market into a more central data center player.
While these three giants tend to promise more data center efficiencies, history suggests that the competition between these giants will fuel enough innovation to guarantee the continuing accuracy of Moore's Law and the heavy energy use that entails.