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“Presidential Innovation Fellow and 18F co-founder Joe Polastre said the open-source Midas Innovation Platform facilitates innovation and collaborative work. He described it as a Kickstarter for government employees who want to get involved in special projects.”
“Auditing what’s there and decomissioning the equipment that’s unused or consolidating it is a real quick win and can typically be done in a short amount of time,” Polastre says.
Dr. Joe Polastre, CTO of Sentilla, warns that data center managers need to be ready for regulation. “Today, carbon does not play an impact on the enterprise,” he says. Most countries are looking at either a flat tax or cap-and-trade system, Polastre points out. In either case, the cost impact on enterprises that run their own data centers is expected to be between 4% and 6% of its total electricity usage.
Joe Polastre, CTO and Co-Founder of Sentilla, explains that, while much of so-called cloud computing is little more than outsourcing, cloud does offer great potential when it comes to developing new applications.
“When does a CIO care about energy?” Joe Polastre, CTO of Sentilla asked me. “When he or she can’t deploy a new application. Why can a data center run at 8 percent of its capacity?” Polastre asked. In any other industry you’d lose your job in a heartbeat. Instead, IT is benchmarked with the wrong rulers: Polastre said that such low efficiencies are possibly only because the data center is measured only by tech metrics. A shift to using business metrics would put those efficiencies under the scrutiny that will drive change much more quickly.
Server virtualization has been around for a few years, so what are some of the things we’ve learned? Joe Polastre, CTO and co-founder of Sentilla, talks with Keith Shaw about what has worked and what hasn’t when enterprises consider or move to virtualization.
“We help organizations move from ‘IT as a cost center’ to ‘IT as a service,’” said Polastre. “We can now look at each individual service and say: ‘How can we provide that more efficiently,’ making good decisions about what to virtualize, when to virtualize, where to virtualize it, whether it should use cloud resources or equipment refresh or new data centers or refurbished old ones–all those kinds of decisions will now be easier to make.”
Imagine if companies could track the energy usage of a single individual web user uploading video content to YouTube, or the amount of energy consumed by a lone click of a mouse to store photos in the cloud. It might sound like a pipe dream, but Sentilla CTO Joe Polastre thinks that eventually the rapidly growing industry around data center and IT energy efficiency could provide that kind of transparency.
“CIOs must be given the same level of visibility into the financial and environmental impacts of their IT services as they have in fields like market analysis and supply-chain management.”
“If the data center’s sole purpose is to deliver services to its users or business, then why do we keep rehashing age-old common-sense cooling strategies? We should be talking about the applications, because that’s where real innovation and efficiency lies. Make the applications more efficient, and the rest of the infrastructure will reap the rewards.”
about joeJoe is an entrepreneur and technology executive focusing on data analytics and large systems problems. He's armed with a PhD in computer science from Berkeley, is a Presidential Innovation Fellow, and has both founded startups and delivered products at IBM, Microsoft, and Intel.
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