I'd like to introduce myself--my name is Ilene Aginsky and I'm the new site community manager for the IT@Intel zone on Open Port, Intel's online IT community site. I started out in IT about two years ago and got very interested in the green aspect of IT.

 

We have had quite a few discussions out here in the community on green versus efficient Greening Data Centers or Make 'em Efficient? and I'm not as concerned by what it is called but rather what we must do to ensure we don't damage the environment.

 

The issues are not simple and require a balancing act. It is important to look at the picture holistically, from cradle to grave. For example, Intel IT will be refreshing approximately 20,000 servers this year with new servers that will consume less energy and reduce our carbon footprint. This begs the question: what happens to the old equipment and what are we doing to prevent it from ending up in a landfill?

 

I asked my colleague Robert who is the Secure Data Control Program Manager for IT and he told me that all end-of-life (EOL) servers at Intel follow the same process. We make sure that we secure all the data by removing and sanitizing the hard drives.

 

Once the data has been sanitized there are three possible paths:

   Resale - we prioritize re-sale

   Donations - some organizations need servers, even without disks

   Scrap - anything deemed worthless to resale or donations is sent to scrap vendors for material reuse and recycling

 

What does your organization do with old equipment?

As this is my first blog on this forum, I'd like to introduce myself.  My name is Bill Sunderland and I have been working at Intel for 12 years primarily working on Server Hardware Engineering and the last three years of which I have focused my efforts on Program Managing the Virtualization Engineering release for Intel IT.  I have recently published a WP demonstrating the methodology used as described below.

 

Intel IT planned, engineered, and has begun deploying a virtualized business-computing production environment at several data centers, a rollout that will continue through 2008.  Our initiative has already confirmed anticipated virtualization benefits such as faster, more automated deployment. We are initially consolidating older servers running applications that are not mission-critical; we see opportunities to achieve 16:1 consolidation ratios.

 

Click here to read the WP:  Implementing Virtualization in a Global Business-Computing Environment

 

I would be interested in hearing your experiences and/or questions regarding virtualizing IT environments!

Information Week recently released an excellent Special Report on Software as a Service (SaaS). A poll of 374 business technology professionals showed that 50% of organizations are considering or running one or more enterprise applications over the Internet as a service. I actually participated in the survey and you can probably guess which quote is mine in the “Our Readers Weigh In” section of the article.

 

The analysis goes on to conclude that SaaS is maturing and becoming part of enterprise IT strategy. The recommendation is that “SaaS should be looked at as just one more delivery method that may or may not fit your specific organization’s need.” How true!

 

If you take the standpoint of an individual client system, services can be delivered to it in an increasing number of ways. The service can come from the Internet cloud or from within the Enterprise. The application processing can take place on the client or be hosted on a server somewhere. It might run within a virtual machine or natively within an OS. The client GUI might be installed locally or streamed or hosted with a web interface. The service could be mashed up or self contained. With all of these evolving service delivery mechanisms and options, it will be interesting to see how we arrive at the correct balance at the client.

The relative positioning of 2 and 4-socket servers for server virtualization has been an open question for a long time - a question that has stumped the most astute of IT professionals time and again.  In fact it might not be an exaggeration to say that this open question is almost in the same class as the famous Riemann's hypothesis that has remained unsolved for over a century! (If you accept that premise, then there's some real estate on the moon that I'd like to bring to your attention as well). Although advocates for either class of servers have been emphatic in their respective positions, compelling data-points supporting their positions have been few and far between.

 

To remedy this sorry state of affairs, an Intel IT team conducted in-depth tests and analysis using current quad-core processor based 2 and 4-socket servers in a virtualized environment.  This effort culminated in a comprehensive framework for comparing server platforms for virtualization. This comparative framework encompasses the majority of common deployment scenarios and usage models and answers - once and for all - the long unanswered question "which server is more appropriate for my virtualization project?"

 

The whitepaper detailing the findings can be found here Comparing Two- and Four-Socket Platforms for Server Virtualization. If time is short, click on the icon below for a short video overview.

 


 

 

 

 


 

My daughter recently brought home from school a photocopy of the lyrics of Jack Johnson’s “The 3 R’s” (from the Curious George soundtrack), which encourage us to “Reduce, Reuse,  Recycle”.  This struck me as relevant in some of the recent discussions I have been having about Greenwashing in the Data Center.

 

A fair amount of our data center strategy deals with driving down costs.  We’re trying to spend less money to deliver the same or better results.  Along the way, we find opportunities to be green.  While I would love to have more meetings that start out with the question of “what can we do to help the environment?” rather than “what can we do to cut costs?”, we do talk about both.  This is somewhat similar to consumer-oriented eco-efforts, encouraging people to save the world while saving money:  unplug electronic devices when they're not being used, replace your appliances with more energy-efficient ones, etc.  I don't know of many people or organizations who wouldn't like to spend less money, and when we can help the environment at the same time it's win-win.

 

Which brings me back to the song lyrics.  Our cost-cutting measures tend to be related to at least two of the three “R’s” – reducing what we consume, many times by reusing what we already have.  I’ll spend my next few posts exploring this a bit further, giving some specific examples of our cost-savings initiatives that ultimately contribute to a greener data center and IT infrastructure.

 

Happy Earth Day...

Doug Garday continues his podcast series with part II, which continues the discussion around a heat recovery system to reduce the total cost of ownership.  In this podcast, Doug plugs in numbers that show potential energy cost savings.



To listen to Part I go to What if you invested a dollar and it returned 10?.  View the full brief at Data Center Heat Recovery Helps Intel Create Green Facility.

Travels, like life in general, can often be filled with coincidental meetings and accidental occurrences. My recent trip to the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai China was no exception. As I lumbered down the long skinny hallway of the jumbo jet that was to be my home for the next dreaded 13 hours, I approached my cramped middle seat in the very back of the plane to find a familiar face smiling at me from the seat next to my own.

 

Now it was no surprise to see other Intel employees on this entirely full flight to Shanghai, but it was nice to see a former colleague seated next to me. This meeting proved even more fortuitous as I later in the week ran into him once again just in time to sit down for a brief conversation about the important work his team is doing in the realm of open source software at Intel.

 

Ram Peddibhotla, Director of Intel's Open Source Technology Center, spoke with me about Intel's efforts in leading a variety of open source projectsincluding moblin.org, the open source project devoted to developing an open operating system for the mobile internet devices (MIDs) that were the talk of IDF.

 

In addition to moblin.org, Mr. Peddibhotla discussed the variety of other critical open source projects in which Intel experts are instrumentally involved, including lesswatts.org and as maintainers of the Linux kernel itself.

 

 

 

 

 

Certainly not new to many of you in the IT Community, open source software continues to drive more and more of the critical applications we use to power business everyday. So I'm curious:

 

  • How many of you have either adopted or are evaluating open source software for critical functions like customer relation management (CRM), business intelligence, communication apps such as email or other productivity tools?

  • Are there particular benefits or challenges you've faced when implementing this software?

  • And are there particular applications you wouldn't consider using open source software to accomplish?

 

Hello community,

 

Since this is my first blog on this site so I thought it would be nice to introduce myself. My name is Brian McCann and I'm an Automation Engineer at Intel that focuses on platforms support. In short this means I'm in the trenches everyday supporting Intel's manufacturing environment. This blog is going to be focused on sharing my tools and best practices when managing a server environment, it is not going to be a sales and marketing blog...sorry to disappoint. My interests are hardware and software...in fact I'm a little biased toward Microsoft since I've supported Microsoft environments for some time now. If you want to find out a little more about me feel free to visit my other blog where I focus most of those blogs on Active Directory. Hopefully you'll like what you see here and come back for more.

 

 

Today I wanted to share with you a tool that will help simplify the management of your servers...especially if you have a lot of servers to manage like I do. Its name is VisionApp Remote Desktop and it is a great freeware program to manage Windows servers. I've always disliked the built-in MMC snap-in Remote Desktops. It is a very simple tool that is only good for managing about ten servers. Like you, I manage way more than ten servers. This tool has the following benefits to help you manage those remote desktop sessions:

 

  • Sort Servers Alphabetically (This made me so angry that I couldn't do this with Microsoft's Remote Desktop MMC. When you have to manage a lot of servers it is a pain when you add new ones that follow a naming convention that now fall out of order)

  • Create folders to help sort different types of servers (I created folders for my Production, Integration, Development and Virtual servers. This has made it extremely easy to find what I'm looking for.)

  • Tabbed Remote Desktops (Tabs are huge right now and this tool takes full advantage of them. I can now open several different types of servers from different folders and access them via the tabs on the top.)

 

Hopefully this tool relieves some of the stress you have when managing your environment. I have plenty of tools and best practices stored up so let me know what you think about them. Also if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

KellyFeller

I want my M.I.D!

Posted by KellyFeller Apr 2, 2008

 

As I sat through the marathon keynote sessions in this morning's kickoff of the Intel Developer Forum, I tried to Twitter to provide you all some colorful realtime observations from the dark auditorium. About halfway through my Blackberry lost the ability to access the internet and thus...my voice was silenced, albeit briefly.

 

 

As I powered my way through my local grocery store last weekwhich I often do to grab the week's meal supplies, each time trying to beat my previous record (so far I'm still trying to beat my record in-and-out time of 7 minutes)I realized I had forgotten to write down the ingredients I needed to make one of my succulent meals. Stomping my feet in disgust, I pined for some quick and easy way to jump on the internet right there in the produce aisle to look up the recipe and ensure I brought home all the requisite ingredients.

 

 

Both of these scenerios demonstrate my own personal longing for immediate and uncomplicated access to the internet; anytime, anywhere. And I don't think I'm alone in this desire. As I learned at IDF today, I'm happy to report that Intel is on it!

 

 

The three opening keynotes, delivered by Pat Gelsinger, Dadi Perlmutter, and Anand Chandrasekher respectively, all talked of innovative breakthroughs in technology and visions on how the future was going to be overwhelmingly different. But the topic on most everyone's lips was the exciting new mobile internet devices (MIDs) finally coming to market in the next several months.

 

 

It is easy to see why there is all this fuss about MIDs when:

 

  • 60% of internet users in China play online games

  • 3 billion minutes are spent everyday on social networking worldwide

  • 88% of Japanese phone customers are dissatisfied with their access to the internet from their phones

 

Combine all this data with the recent announcement of the Intel Atom processor and you have one perfect storm of mind-blowing proportion. And with all the awesome different MIDs that were on display today at IDF, I can easily see this anticipation grow into a consumer-covetous frenzy.

 

 

Ok, perhaps I'm a bit too hyped up on caffeine to stave off my jetlag. But this is exciting stuff! And I for one am thrilled Intel and our partners are working hard to, as Mr. Chandrasekher so eloquently put it, "unleash the internet."

 

 

So stay tuned for more of my observations from IDF. As long as the coffee keeps coming, I'll keep writing (I LOVE the coffee here!).

 

 

Imagine for a second your a large corporation and you are going to spend millions of dollars to get a well crafted message out to prospective customers, then you decide to fire the copywriters and turn the site into one big brainstorming session where people express ideas like.

 

*"My ideal Utopia is when everybody is using Mac computers and finally everything works better in a Windows free world."

 

*"IT Utopia means that everyone can hack everyone, thereby hackers become useless. "

 

*"Sorry IT guys, but my idea of IT Utopia is no more IT."



Welcome to Intel's IT Utopia site.  As one poster observed, "Interesting, like a faceless Twitter...".  Thus this is not your typical Intel campaign.  Companies like Intel spend lots of time and resources to protect and manage messages around a brand. And campaign sites are usually where marketing excersize these resources with great delight and great control.

 

However with the success of site's like Open Port and a growing online trend for IT customers to seek out support and information on online forums, Intel is hoping to be part of the conversational trend.

 

So while Intel is promoting products and techologies, I think some of the real there, there is that Intel is spending  time and resources to integrate voices of the community within the campaigns.

 

So my advice for those who feel their voice is lost in small little corner of an IT chat room, go to http://www.intel.com/itopia and speak up.

Do not attempt to adjust your screen. And since April Fool's Day is over, this is not a silly prank to see if you are paying attention. No, this is a real and true report coming to you straight from the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, China, where today Intel announced it would begin offering software testing and validation services to members of the Intel Software Partner Program.

 

Did I say services? From a hardware company? What's up with that?

 

Well, Intel has entered into a key partnership with SpikeSource, a software validation solution provider. The deal is that software companies, many of whom are medium in size or who develop open source solutions, can now receive Intel certification that ensures their solutions meet "rigorous standards for security, interoperability and maintainability, and are optimized for Intel technologies." (I took that directly from the press release).

 

I sat down for a brief conversation with SpikeSource CEO Kim Polese to get her perspective on this new service and how it will benefit both the software community and the end customers who rely on software in their everyday jobs and lives. (You all remember Kim, right? Think Java.).

 

 

 

Wow, maybe it's the coffee here (I've made it no secret how I feel about it) but once again I'm a little giddy with the important implications of this announcement. Intel's partner program reaches over 8,000 independent software vendors (ISVs) and I can see this service being a major benefit to developers so they can focus what they do best: developing cool software.

If you invested one dollar and it returned 10 dollars, you'd think that was an excellent return wouldn't you? So what if you could get this same 10X return on energy? An industrial heat pump system called Heat Recovery where an additional 100 kW of power used returns 1 megawatt of heat energy.

 

This return or ratio of energy in vs energy out is called Coefficient Of Performance (COP). A resistance heater uses 1kW of power to produce 1kW of heat, providing a COP of 1. Residential Heat Pumps are efficient but very dependent on ambient weather conditions and produce less usable heat when outside conditions are colder. So how about a system that works at a COP of 10 regardless of weather conditions outside?

 

I hope you have seen our discussion on whether the data center is green or efficient Greening Data Centers or Make 'em Efficient? but either way you slice it the data center consumes energy. How can we reuse that energy for other purposes? Check out Part 1 of a two-part podcast (look for this next week) that describes how we have designed a system to capture the heat coming off all the equipment in the data center and recycle it to heat offices and warm water for cafeterias and other domestic water purposes.



Check out the brief for more details  Data Center Heat Recovery Helps Intel Create Green Facility.

Update:  Part II of the podcast series is now available  Part II: What if you invested a dollar and it returned 10?  This is where I get into discussing the numbers and the total cost of ownership.

GeorgeClement

Using six sigma in IT

Posted by GeorgeClement Apr 1, 2008

Just finished my green belt project analyzing how effective web analytics is  in  identifying applications no longer required by IT (and should be archived) . the project went well I had some interesting data to show for it and it def drove a decision. 

 

I'd have to say that  LSS gave me some new tools to use. The templates we use internally are ok but If I was outside I'd probably stop by http://lssacademy.com/downloads/ and check out their C&E and FMEA.

 

 

Some advice to others looking to start a GB project I'd like to mention a couple of general things I learned from setting up and running mine:

 

  • Don't boil the ocean - Improve an existing process as your green belt project.

  • Use Six Sigma tools to measure process output and identify where failures impact results (FMEA, C&E, etc).

  • Apply Lean Thinking to a step that has a lot of failure.

  • Measure improvement using Six Sigma tools (remesure your failure rate / speed / or what every you has as the cause of your failure).

 

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