Heard, and overheard

Mar 5 2010   4:22AM GMT

Indians: The pioneers of power saving

Anilpatrick Anil Patrick Profile: Anilpatrick

I love the fuss that’s made nowadays about power saving in the data center. After all, it feels good to see that the rest of world does what Indian organizations have been doing for years!

Yes, believe it or not, our offices and data centers have been in the forefront of saving power when it comes to use of IT equipment. That too, with the not so power efficient equipment.

It’s essential to point out that evaluation of power saving features have been an essential part of the IT buying cycle in Indian organizations for a while. This means that the focus is on saving power right from the beginning.

Case in point is a recent TechTarget study which attempts to determine how organizations in India, US, an UK evaluate storage solutions. As per the study, 64% of Indian organizations rated energy efficiency as a major deciding factor in how they chose a disk array. This is opposed to US and UK, where they treat energy efficiency as a not so important factor during the evaluation (55% and 45% of respondents from the US and UK respectively feel that power efficiency is not a deciding factor while evaluating disk arrays).

How come we are so high up in terms of saving power? Well, reduction of power costs has always been considered a major cost saver in India. There are multiple reasons to this, as I’ll explain.

Power bills are not part of the IT budget in most Indian companies. This brings in pressure on the IT team from other functions in the organization to reduce power consumption. And significant measures are promptly undertaken since IT teams don’t like to have CFOs and COOs breathing down their necks due to high power and cooling bills. Also, we have major power shortages in India, and this does make power something of a valued commodity.

Due to these factors, IT teams do their level best to ensure power savings in all possible ways. These start from as simple measures as PCs going into standby after a while of inactivity. As early as year 2001, I’ve seen many data centers, where motion sensors are used to switch off lights when there is no activity.

There’s much brouhaha now about server virtualization and its associated power saving benefits. But veterans will remember that many Indian organizations started using the virtualization capabilities offered by RISC platforms decades back. While power saving was not the desired objective of these implementations, there’s no denying the fact that power consumption levels did come down.

Today, we may not make a hue and cry about green technologies like free cooling (which cost the Earth) since they are not really viable for use in India. But practical and cost effective technologies like hot aisle – cold aisle containment are being rapidly adopted in Indian data centers.

It’s these little things that we do in our data centers and offices that end up contributing much more to Mother Nature than we realize. After all, even the ocean is made up of tiny drops of water!

Got interesting stories to share on how your organization saves power and increases cooling efficiency in the data center? We’ll happy to hear from you, so do write to apatrick at techtarget dot com.

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