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Someone send me this Dilbert* strip yesterday. Data Center is in such high demand even Dilbert is building one. He was having trouble getting power to run the DC with air conditioning. He thought the servers would melt to a toxic bomb. I think he might be happy to know that he could actually run servers without air conditioning in a data center and he wouldn’t need to turn the DC into a museum.


Last year Don Atwood, a regional DC manager in Intel, has done a proof of concept (PoC) to challenge industry assumption in DC cooling by running a high density DC with only a air economizer and no air conditioner. In the PoC, Don ran two DC modules in parallel – one with traditional air conditioner as control; one with air economizer as the POC test. After 10 months, other than dusty servers in the POC module, there was virtually not side effect found on the 900 servers in the air economizer module. The hardware failure rate in both modules was similar, contrary to many would have believed. The biggest finding from the experiment was that we were able to reduce 67% energy consumption for DC cooling comparing with traditional data center cooling approach. Not only the reduction in energy consumption contributed to the IT sustainability programs, we also estimated using this new approach in a large 10-MW data center would save US$2.87 million annually (based on cost of $0.08 per KWH).



Have you try running your DC without air conditioning? Do you have any other innovative way in saving energy consumptions and cost in your data centers?


* Names and brands are properties of their respective owners

Employees need the ability to communicate securely.  Deploying the right capabilities can empower employees to keep the organization’s information more secure.  Matthew Rosenquist discusses a strategy to establish secure communication channels.



Video 2:35 minutes

I hate fixing the roof.  In fact, I have been postponing a roof repair over my garage for about 2 years now.  I recently read an article by Peter Kretzmen titled “IT, The CIO, and the Business Need for Roof Projects” and realized that while I can put off my roof repair, IT may not be able to postpone routine upgrades. 



For businesses, technology refresh is a standard business process (ie a roof fix).  The question for IT often boils down to WHEN I should upgrade, not IF. Why? … because hardware technology ages, maintenance costs rise, and software solutions can become unresponsive or obsolete as business needs change, user needs evolve and new technology and software become available. In this economy, cost is king and reducing IT costs has clearly become a critical imperative.



My colleagues in Intel IT recently conducted two separate and independent studies on how frequent we should refresh our PC fleet and data center servers.



PC Fleet Management:  John Mahvi and Avi Zarfaty from Intel IT recently wrote a paper titled “Using TCO to Determine PC Upgrade Cycles”.  The conclusion of this analysis showed that a 3.5 year refresh rate was optimal for total cost management in our IT environment.  Despite the fact that delaying PC refresh this year was initially seen as a cash conservation approach, the analysis showed that not refreshing older PCs increased the business’s overall costs.  As a beneficiary of PC refresh (I got a new laptop a month ago ), I can also personally attest that my productivity has gone up.



Data Center Efficiency:  Matt Beckert and Diane Boyington of Intel IT recently published a paper titled “Realizing Data Center Savings with an Accelerated Server Refresh Strategy”.  This paper discusses Intel IT’s movement to a proactive 4-year server refresh cadence in 2007 and illustrates both the long term savings (up to $250M over eight years) and immediate benefit to the corporate bottom line ($45M saved in 2008). After plans to refresh our servers was slowed earlier this year to preserve capital funds, a re-assessment was done that showed that Intel IT could save $19M by refreshing now vrs waiting until 2010.



Just like you shouldn’t sleep in a house with a leaking roof … it is prudent to not let old hardware create a hole in your IT budget. In today’s economic environment, Intel IT can’t afford a leaky roof and so we are moving forward with proactive business client PC and Server refresh, proven approaches to reduce TCO and boost business value.



Chris Peters, Intel IT

twitter @chris_p_intel


Video Conference in Intel

Posted by jimmywai Aug 7, 2009

Among the projects I am working on recently, one of them is deploying video conference solutions in Intel. Video conference has been gaining a lot of attention recently here. When I was talking to the CIO of a large organization in Hong Kong a few weeks ago, video conference was also a topics that came up in the conversation.


From what I have heard and seen, there seems to be a increase interest in this subject. There are three factors I believe are driving this. One is the impact of the current economy, which drives down travel budget. Video conference is a lower cost alternative to meet people when one cannot be physically there. The second factor is the increased focus in sustainability. By replacing travel will video conference, one can reduce the carbon footprint of the organization. The third factor is probably the advance of video conference technology. The systems have been getting better in terms of performance and cost. Many of them have gotten much more user friendly and Support more usage models. Some of them also work reasonably well on a laptop PC.


In Intel IT, we have a program that is trying to make video conference capabilities pervasive to our employees. We have deployed some high end solutions in a number of large sites during last year. We are going to deploy some middle tier and lower tier solutions during the rest of this year. We see these video solutions will bring benefits in areas of travel reduction, sustainability, employee productivity, enablement of new business models, and enhancing collaboration.


A simple survey for the pilot users of a table top solution confirmed that the video conference capability had increased team collaboration comparing to audio only meetings and increased engagement from remote participants. The survey also revealed that some tips and tricks needed to be advertised to use the solution effectively, although the system might appear intuitive to use.


How are you using video conference solutions in your organization? Do you have any experience and best know methods to share?

Phishing is pervasive, evolving, and a serious threat to everyone.  Matthew Rosenquist discusses strategies to defeat phishing attacks.



Video 5:14 minutes

I'm pretty excited.  Last week we completed and posted our very first whitepaper related to Intel IT acquisition projects!  Several peers and I got together and worked up some key learnings from past projects and compiled them into a whitepaper where we discuss the various aspects of IT and how we go about integrating an acquisition into the overall Intel IT environment.


As you can probably guess, we have more than our share of challenges on such projects, and I have personally found that even the smaller, "no brainer" acquisitions each have their own unique twists and challenges.


Anyway, I'm very proud of this whitepaper, and I hope you'll take a look and post your thoughts and comments!  Perhaps this will be the first of many efforts to share our experiences on M&A projects with other IT folks around the world.


Check out our whitepaper at





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