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Power IT Down This Friday!

August 26, 2010

Friday August 27 is "Power IT Down" day. Organizers say "just by turning off your computer, monitor and printer -- and any other peripherals -- when you leave work for the day, you can help save tens of thousands of costly kilowatt hours."

(There are also the knock-on benefits of reducing dangerous emissions, slowing down climate change and minimizing havoc-causing brownouts and blackouts.)

"Think saving a few kilowatt hours won't make a big difference?" says the web site. "To demonstrate the benefits of Power IT Down Day and how energy savings can be put to good use, its sponsors will make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. Last year, we donated $45,000!"

The Wounded Warrior Project's mission is, says that site to "raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members."
CDW's 2009 Energy Efficient IT Report backs up the benefits of such efforts as Power IT Down day. It found that organizations working to reduce energy consumption are realizing tangible results:

Truly Going Green in Air Travel

June 3, 2010

I used to like flying but no longer. I now loathe even the thought of getting on a plane.

A once-great experience has been turned into, well, the most appropriately named commercial aircraft is the "Airbus", which speaks volumes for it. Namely cramming as many bodies to a hairline above the pain thresholds of most humans into a huge of hunk of material and transport them via their conveyance from Point A to Point B.

Tandberg's FlyFree program

March 19, 2010

Air travel especially for business is an environment-killing, time-wasting, productivity-draining pain in the literal backside. If high costs, cramped seats, nonexistent food service that forces one to also juggle the grease-drenched so-called sustenance caked into landfill-bloating clamshell packaging, plus de facto strip searches, and weather and runway delays weren't enough then there's always labor disruptions.

And in anticipation of the latter, on British Airways (BA), Tandberg has wisely capitalized the opportunity to market its videoconferencing and telepresence solutions by offering TANDBERG FlyFree, a program that gives companies an easy and risk-free way of experiencing the power of high-definition video conferencing and telepresence.

By adopting Tandberg's technology, it says employees "can still make critical meetings, avoid unnecessary business travel and benefit from a better work-life balance by working around personal schedules. In turn, the technology can deliver serious business advantages and consistent return on investment, regardless of the BA strikes, as well as help companies make great CO2, time and cost savings."

"Businesses cannot afford to be slowed down by the impact of international travel disruption, especially at this time when continuity is so critical to success," says Simon Egan, Vice President, Western Europe & Sub-Saharan Africa, Tandberg.

Full Cost Analysis Needed on Green Power

February 18, 2010

Full-cost analysis (FCA) examines both complete direct i.e. capital and operating costs and indirect i.e. environmental, health and social costs of private and public investments. 

FCA, many of whose methodologies are still being refined, is a much needed tool to enable companies and policymakers to accurately determine the true ROI of projects. It will hopefully end the free ride 'enjoyed' especially by highways, airports and sprawl.

Shrink your 'Water Footprint'

November 16, 2009

The best information sources are often your readers.

I received an e-mail last week from Jim McGilligan, who has a degree in engineering from the University of Delware, who just came across this article on water and energy titled: "What is your water footprint?" published in the (Lafourche Parish, La.) Daily Comet. Written by Tom Rooney, president and CEO of SPG Solar in Novato, Calif the article is "the best I've ever seen" on this topic, Jim tells me.

The article raises the key points that we should consider water consumption and concern ourselves with the amounts of energy required to heat and cool water when looking at shrinking our carbon footprints i.e. 'water footprints'.

PIM: Ensuring Data Center Resource Availability

November 1, 2009

When it comes to business success, there is little that can damage a business' reputation than the quality of its network and access to its resources. Specifically, network downtime, resulting in an inability to access data and applications, can have the same detrimental impact as poor customer service.   To help drive efficient operations, enterprises are upgrading their data center to operate more efficiently and more cost effectively, and to be more environmentally friendly, and to generally support the data and application requirements of their operations, including providing access to those resources from a growing range of fixed and mobile devices.   Among the ways they are achieving resource optimization and operational efficiencies is through what Panduit calls a unified physical infrastructure. That is, they are leveraging IP networking solutions to enable all data center physical systems to run on a single converged network, allowing for more efficient resource utilization and management.    Naturally, simply running the entire infrastructure on a single network platform provides cost savings in a variety of ways but, in order to derive maximum benefit, a single, integrated management platform must also be deployed that allows visibility into the converged network and its assets, to increase performance and ensure network availability.   Panduit's Physical Infrastructure Manager (PIM) software, designed to integrate into a flexible UPI-based design, provides that visibility, offering end-to-end visibility and enabling both manual and automated features to ensure that network resources are optimized and to troubleshoot any real of potential points of failure.   Importantly, the PIM solution also integrates easily into existing management software, allowing those platforms to be brought under a single management umbrella for efficiency, while increasing the value of those solutions rather than requiring investment in and training on new software.   As data center technology continues to evolve, and as enterprises resource needs continue to grow, the strain on their data centers will only increase. A UPI-based approach will allow them the flexibility to grow, while reducing operational costs and, in many cases, reducing physical footprint through strategic consolidation.   But, the success of such projects will ultimately rest with the ability to manage the data center's physical infrastructure in a way that will ensure connectivity to its logical infrastructure. Without that connectivity, any cost savings and operational efficiency will be for naught.   Read more about Panduit's UPI vision and its PIM solution on the Smart Data Centers community.    

Eco-Sustainability through Unified Physical Infrastructures

October 26, 2009

As businesses grow, they are faced with the inherent technological challenges that accompany the addition of both headcount and physical footprint - namely, the task of effectively integrating disparate systems and technologies to create a single, unified environment to enable collaboration, business process efficiency, and cost effectiveness.   This holds equally for large enterprises looking to consolidate several large data centers and for smaller, mid-market businesses looking to consolidate their facilities into a single corporate headquarters - like Thornhill, Ontario, Canada-based MMM Group did.   MMM Group had, over five years, grown organically and by acquisition, and had managed to make do by bandaging together its disparate networks and management platforms, but realized this was highly inefficient from a cost and a business process perspective. So, it made the strategic decision to build out a new facility to house the majority of its staff and technology under one roof and a single network architecture.   Of course, MMM Group needed a reliable solution that would provide it the performance and reliability it required, but it also needed to ensure operational efficiency and environmental awareness - but keys to long-term sustainability. Along with operational sustainability, scalability was a key consideration, so that its new data center would be able to accommodate expected continued growth, including system upgrade and expansion.   MMM Group chose Panduit as a partner for its data center build-out, primarily because its unified physical infrastructure approach closely aligned with MMM Group's own ideal of a single, converged network to manage and control all of its network-based systems, including communications, computing, power, control, and security. The goal was to provide a smarter physical infrastructure that would provide the foundation for reliable real-time access to the resources delivered by the logical infrastructure layer, including the integration of all of MMM Group's IP network, including VoIP, video and data, wireless connectivity, security systems, and building access control.   MMM Group, after struggling to achieve cost and operational efficiencies with its disparate staff and networks, realized that its continued success would be dependent upon its ability to build a flexible infrastructure that would ensure real-time availability of applications and services, maintain compliance with industry standards and regulations, reduce power and cooling costs, increase environmental awareness and long-term sustainability, and increase operational efficiency.   Read more about how Panduit helps mid-market enterprises evolve their infrastructures to accomplish all of these goals.

Panduit's Living Lab for UPI-based Data Centers

October 25, 2009

Green technology is quickly becoming a focus across enterprises - the question is, are businesses veiling their cost cutting measures as green initiatives or are they truly looking to become environmentally conscious. Panduit's vice president of global marketing Vineeth Ram, believes it's a combination of the two: nearly every business is focusing on the short term (i.e., cost reduction), but there is also increasing pressure to "do the right thing" from an environmental aspect, which actually delivers long-term savings in the way of sustainability.   In a recent video interview, Ram says that the key is really to turn "greenness" into a process, which is what Panduit is reinforcing with its unified physical infrastructure approach. Panduit recognizes that the tangible elements of green IT, like power and cooling conservation and footprint reduction, provide both short- and long-term benefits.   Panduit has built "green" into its overall approach to its data center products and solutions, including working with its partner ecosystem to create the most effective solutions for its customers, but Ram notes that, while it can deliver significant short-term benefits, the idea of a unified physical infrastructure is really designed to provide a long-term sustainability roadmap. This includes an integrated physical infrastructure that can easily adapt to new logical system components - a critical feature since physical layer components typically have a useful life three times that of logical layer elements.   Demonstrating the benefits of a UPI-based data center, Panduit has designed its new corporate headquarters using UPI-based solutions that span the entire facility and its various converged systems. Ram says the new facility will demonstrate what a unified physical infrastructure can deliver in terms of driving the benefits related to power and cooling, footprint reduction, efficiency, management, and sustainability,   "This is going to be living lab," he says. "It's going to be a proof point for the unified physical infrastructure."   For more on how Panduit is driving green technology through its UPI vision, watch the video with Vineeth Ram, and listen to a recent interview with Panduit's Anil Maheshwari about eco-sustainable enterprises.

Panduit and Oracle: Unifying the Entire Enterprise Infrastructure

October 18, 2009

For those you who have been following the latest developments at Panduit, you'll know a key focus for the company is driving efficiency in data center environments through the concept of a unified physical infrastructure. The concept allows for more efficient resource utilization and management, resulting in increased operational and cost efficiencies as well a more reliable and sustainable infrastructure.   A key part of the initiative is to help drive eco-sustainability across entire enterprise infrastructures, which is something Panduit itself has made part of its corporate culture for more than 50 years, according to Anil Maheshwari, Director of Marketing at Panduit.   "Panduit embraces 'lean and green' as a core value, and we partner with companies to drive agility, sustainability, efficiency, and, in particular the green IT element, which we drive through savings in power, cooling, space, and energy," Maheshwari told TMC's Amy Tierney in a recent podcast interview.   Panduit's solutions drive unification in the physical layer of the data center, but its work in driving that extends beyond its own solutions, and even beyond the physical infrastructure, to helping businesses unify their logical infrastructures as well.   Even in its own facilities, Panduit leverages Oracle's solutions to streamline operations and drive eco-sustainability. By working in a paperless order processing environment, for instance, it has saved more than 2.2 million pages of paper. Using Oracle software, is also is able to ensure conformity to ISO and ROHS standards for more efficient operations across its global facilities.   "Our company's whole culture has been around resource savings and efficiencies, so we have been a good example of a socially responsible and resource-efficient company," says Maheshwari.   As a testament to its use of Oracle software to drive eco-friendliness, Panduit was named a winner of Oracle's "Enable the Eco-Enterprise Awards" recently. Through a combination of Oracle software and its own UPI-based solutions, Panduit has established itself as a model for eco-sustainable businesses worldwide.   Business that are already using Oracle to unify and consolidate operations at the logical layer can now extend similar efficiencies to their physical infrastructures leveraging Panduit technologies to build on the savings and process improvements they achieve with Oracle. Combing solutions from the two companies, businesses can achieve a completely integrated network infrastructure across the entire enterprise.   "This award validates our strategy," Maheshwari told Tierney. "People are recognizing the value of UPI-based solutions to drive agility, efficiency, flexibility, reliability, sustainability. This helps us a lot in getting the word out."   To hear more about how Panduit is leveraging Oracle solutions to benefit its customers, listen to the podcast here, and for more on how Panduit is helping enterprises create more efficient and sustainable data centers, visit the Smart Data Centers micro-site on TMCnet.

Cash For Comm Clunkers A Truly Green Solution

August 26, 2009

Kudos to companies such as Grandstream, MegaPath, and Netsuite for offering and to Rich Tehrani in his blog for raising and promoting what will turn out to be a much more effective 'cash for clunkers' campaign: turning in old legacy PSTN/TDM equipment and obsolete premises-based solutions for IP and where appropriate hosted tools and recycling them to avoid e-waste. 

The cash for clunkers in the comm industry will arguably be more effective in that this one doesn't involve governments, subsidies, and kowtowing to special interests. The Sierra Club has criticized what had started out to be a well-intentioned program into 'support for gas guzzlers'. Money allocated for this program has arguably come at the expense of more efficient mass transit. While there has been stimulus money to build new systems, agencies are being starved to buy vehicles and operating funds to provide services. 

In contrast going to software-based IP and hosted means less goods that have to be manufactured from raw resources that must be extracted and processed, and lowered transportation costs and the consequent environmental consequences at all stages.

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