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February 06, 2007


Tarry Singh

Very rightly said, Chuck! And an excellent post. I did (sometime back) muse about CSR myself (http://tarrysingh.blogspot.com/2006/12/virtualization-where-is-your-csr.html).

Chuck Hollis

Hi Tarry

Went back and looked at your piece -- very well put, so thanks!

I don't think that either of us are the first (or the last!) to write on this growingly important topic.

Thanks for commenting, and am enjoying reading your blog!

Josh Maher

Are there any plans for EMC to create perscriptive guidance around how to implement storage or information management in an ITIL (CobiT, MOF, ISO) fashion? I have seen a you talk about EMC's services and other internal folks talk about EMC's services, but no guidance for customers to do this on their own. I understand services make EMC money, but sometimes it makes more sense to use internal resources.

Jeff Oliver


Great article. This encapsulates many issues we currently face.

I manage the corporate data center at a large retail company. I'm curious if and when you see these issues impacting non-technology companies? Perhaps a better question is when do you think non-technologies companies will start noticing these issues? There is no doubt in my mind that virtualization, server efficiency, depreciation schedules, and storage management practices affect us. But when I raise any of these issues, I tend to get blank stares from my colleagues.

Thanks again,

Chuck Hollis

Hi Josh -- good question.

The answer is "somewhat". EMC offers pretty extensive education on how to design, implement, etc. storage and information projects. Yes, you have to pay for the classes, but it's an alternative to the services.

The framework discussion presents a challenge. There are many to choose from, and most seem to focus on operations and change management, rather than design and implementation. I am not an expert in this regard.

That being said, I think EMC could offer more "self help" guides that allow a proficient practitioner to do it themselves.

I was heartened to see a string of solution guides (blueprints) for things like Oracle on IP storage, storage considerations for Exchange, and the like.

My understanding is that more are under development for VMware, SAP and additional environments.

These don't directly address your suggestion, but it's getting closer.

Thanks for the comment, Josh

Chuck Hollis

Hi Jeff

Where I'm seeing the most dramatic take-up for "green data centers" is in larger companies that take their social agenda (and its appearances) very seriously.

The usual arguments were always there about power savings, etc. but never really got acted on until the issue landed on the corporate agenda.

Now, I don't know how large your company is, or how important social optics might be, but my guess is that within a few years, you'll see it becoming all the rage. Especially when your competitors start doing it.

Until then, you're probably better off advancing the idea, but not trying to break too much glass. All good ideas need a place and time to be realized, no?

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comment!

Bill Bonin


Great blog today on energy savings. I think your best one. Energy is a case of high principals meets economic pragmatism with a big serving of PR benefit. This usually drives behavior.

I have one little quibble. Upgrades and lease rollovers are two of the biggest uses for virtualization. If IT shops go to an 18 month upgrade cycle without virtualization, they will be working a whole lot of nights and weekends.

I'll be interested to see the feedback you get. I'll bet it's a record.

Chris M Evans

Chuck, I talked about this subject last May (http://storagearchitect.blogspot.com/2006/05/green-datacentre.html) specifically at the time around SAN switches. I wanted to understand the efficiency based on bandwidth as a per port measured solution seemed unreasonable. Based on my numbers, why would anyone install anything other than Brocade as the switch product? They are hugely more efficient than Cisco for instance. Well, I think it is because environmental cost is just another factor in the mix of making a purchasing decision. I don't think there will be a wholesale rip-out of technology to be more green, however I do think there will be pressure to show you have chosen the most green product as long as it offers the feature set, reliability and value for money you are looking for.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Chris

My suspicion -- based on the numbers I've seen -- is that the SAN devices are really just a small portion of a much larger landscape of servers and storage.

Perhaps your argument makes sense in a standalone fashion, but -- consider a situation where someone doing aggressive server virtualization for a part of their environments wants to use a mix of iSCSI and FC.

The potential energy savings from the use of iSCSI in a virtualization context could easily outweigh the energy differential from choosing Brocade over Cisco.

Maybe that's not the greatest example, but I think the recipe here is to look at all the components together, as the interactions may outweigh the individual elements.

As a preliminary step, EMC has updated all their power calculators to include servers and networking gear in addition to storage.

I think we need to take a further step and show the idealized power-efficient architectures end-to-end: servers, networks and storage. We're not entirely there yet.

Thanks for the comment!


Hi Chuck,
I am just learning about this issue and have a question: Could you please clarify the term, "energy envelope." Thank you!

Chuck Hollis

Hi Jen

I hear the term used when customers are evaluating the entire energy footprint of a technology component, e.g. not just the power consumption but cooling requirements as well.

Going a bit further, over time there seem to be wider differences between normal power usage, and peak power usage for more and more technology components. More sophisticated models take both into account as well.

Thanks for your question ...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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