Some Green IT predictions for 2008:
2008 is the year that more realize Green IT is not a passing fad in the industry, More will realize that Green IT is a permanent regulatory and operational reality in IT Architecture and Operations and it cannot be ignored. Regulations and oversight as well as public scrutiny will increase in 2008 (as well as poor metrics in power consumption and carbon footprint). We will see more laws and regulations, more audits, around the world.
Because of this, many IT execs wanting one time quick fixes to get on the cover of their favorite industry magazine; will face tougher scrutiny from the public.
Because this will be permanent reality for IT, more progressive organizations will understand the continuous commitment it takes to reduce power and carbon footprint and will hold decision makers and architects accountable for those metrics (as they do for scalability, availability, and security). 2008 will be a year of shaking out the green washing organizations and start to show some progressive organizations who are committed for the long run.
Companies who only rely on performance per watt (ppw) justifications for capital expenditures will see their power consumption increase (you read it right).
ppw has been a mainstay for vendors to justify new hardware and software it sells to IT organizations for the last thirty years.
The logic goes like this:
"your (server/SAN/network/database/operating system) can do more work with the same amount of power, therefore, you will need fewer of them, hence you can reduce your power bill"
Most Vendors are still parading the ppw marketing plan as their green answer today.
So why doesn’t this argument work in the real world? Answer: because it never factors in its impact on the velocity of demand as well as the impact of the environment which must now support it.
As technology capability increases, the velocity of people's demands of that technology will increase more. Therefore the demand for more servers, storage and network capability will increase. This, in turn, will increase the demand for power. This does not mention the cooling efficiency challenges of power dense racks (accounting for a substantial percentage of datacenter's power budget).
Question: Will better ppw metrics mean that the velocity of power demand will eventually decrease? (Because things are more efficient) Answer: no, it will actually increase.
This year, server consolidation through virtualization and blade systems will be more pervasive in 2008. However, I predict that those who rely on this strategy alone (relying on the ppw model) will see their real power bills increase in the datacenters.