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Green Box: Green tech survey and patents

January 18, 2010

A couple of items have landed in my inbox that are of interest:

Symantec via its PR firm forwarded the green facets of its recently released findings from the firm's 2010 State of the Data Center report. Among them:

* 70 percent of enterprises mentioned energy savings as a somewhat/absolutely important initiative, which was one of the top ten

* 94 percent of enterprise said that reducing energy consumption was important, 89 percent said Green IT was important

To Go Green (In More Ways than One) Go Virtual...and Bus and Rail

December 31, 2009

Want more proof that going green by virtualizing offices i.e. teleworking and locating those functions that need people to interact with each other and with equipment inside energy-efficient buildings at high-transit-accessible locations is the smart way to go? Why it will save green in more ways than one.

A new report by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010 covered on TMCnet  illustrates why staying or locating in traditional suburban sprawl office buildings is a bad financial idea.

UPI, Green Approaches Work in Unison to Achieve Sustainability

December 15, 2009

With more companies looking to migrate and ensure seamless operability, thoroughly following the development cycle and increasing interoperability testing to maximize efficiency are paramount for today's smart data centers.   Panduit Corp., a leader in unified physical infrastructure-based solutions, announced this month it is partnering with IBM to implement portable modular data center designs that minimize energy use and provide cost-effective and flexible solutions to meet data center capacity. This is a prime example of deploying sustainable technology infrastructures that meet evolving business requirements and managing costs across the data center life cycle.   A recent Gartner report confirms that green IT tops the agendas of data center and IT managers, despite the economic downturn.

Making Solar More Reliable

December 14, 2009

Solar power is in theory fairly straightforward: sun to panel. Yet there are many factors affect solar performance including cloudiness, dust and dirt, shade, obstruction shading, and inter-panel-row shading.

Moreover it is often difficult if not impossible to accurately tell which electricity-producing mechanisms i.e. in this case modules are failing without costly added service visits to detect the issues on top of the amounts charged for fixing them. Solar is not like wind, local hydro or wood/biomass-fed generators where there are visual, aural, and in the case of the last one olfactory clues as to problems. 

Homeowners and small businesses can ill-afford such added expenses. If solar was going to be this much hassle then why go solar? 

Premier Power Renewable Energy has an answer: panels made with microinverter technology that pinpoints which specific modules are failing so they can be identified and replaced on a regular service call. The devices, made by Enphase allows homeowners to maximize their solar energy harvest and reduce their utility bill by selling more solar electricity back to the utility i.e. net metering thus, says the firm, "substantially reducing their utility electricity bill."

Panduit's PIM Software Calls the Plays in the Data Center

November 5, 2009

Today's data centers are leveraging the same IP networking solutions most businesses are deploying for converged communications capabilities - and with good reason. Converged networking allows for more effective and simplified resource management, increased security, significant cost savings, and support of environmental initiatives.   But, to win the benefits of a converged data center environment - Panduit's UPI vision - a converged physical infrastructure must be supported by appropriate management software. Why?   Let's look at the offensive unit on a football team. There are eleven players, each with his own unique responsibilities based on position and in-game situations. Those responsibilities are defined by a playbook, which not only accounts for ideal circumstances, but also contingencies based on what the defensive team does.    Without the playbook, the center would snap the ball, and the quarterback and the rest of the players on his team would have to decide on their own what routes to run, how to block, and how to react to defensive schemes - the likelihood of a successful play being minimal.   On the other hand, calling predefined plays from the playbook indentifies the responsibilities for each play for each player, from blocking schemes to pass routes, and even contingency plans for different defensive schemes, including blitzes. Suddenly, with all eleven players acting as a collective unit and knowing what each of the other ten players is doing, the success rate does up exponentially.   Think of the playbook as the management platform in a data center - it allows the infrastructure (team) to operate effectively and adapt to changing circumstances in a manner that is consistent with the other elements of the infrastructure. When a security breach (blitz), for instance, has been identified, it defines how to effectively mitigate that risk so the data canter can continue to operate effectively.   The intelligence that is built into today's data center network requires the visibility and flexibility of an integrated management platform in order to function as a cohesive unit. Panduit's PIM (Physical Infrastructure Manager) solution provides that same capability to identify, isolate, and react to connectivity changes in the data center's physical infrastructure, which is critical to supporting the overall business objectives of the enterprise, because it enables access to the data center resources.    Panduit, in fact, has not only developed the solution to support its partners and customers, but has built its own new LEED certified world headquarters based on its UPI vision, supported by its PIM software.   Read more here about the benefits of Panduit's PIM solution, and how it helps deliver the winning proposition of a unified physical infrastructure.

Business Operations Depend on Physical Infrastructure Manager

November 5, 2009

With the convergence of communications media onto converged all-IP networks, the task of managing those networks effectively becomes significantly more critical to the livelihood of any business. Now, if there are issues with the network infrastructure, the entire business effectively comes to a standstill, since all communications runs on that single, converged network.   On the other hand, because the network is built on a single integrated infrastructure, management platforms have been developed that simplify the management and troubleshooting of the end-to-end network infrastructures, increasing their reliability and security.   For data center environments, which are the central hub of business operations, storing and providing access to data and applications, management solutions must be in place not only for the logical infrastructure, but, more importantly, for the physical layer as well, because it controls access to the logical layer and its resources.   Fortunately, the convergence of physical infrastructures onto all-IP networks enables the unification of physical layer systems - computing, communications, power, control, and security - that collectively enable the data center to support business operations. The principle behind a unified physical infrastructure is to drive operational efficiency, mitigate risk, and lower capital and operational costs by eliminating physical and operational redundancies through an integrated infrastructure.   It's only natural, then, that to fully realize the potential of a UPI-based design, a management system must be in place to handle all of the infrastructure systems, which have traditionally operated on disparate networks with their own unique management platforms. That's what Panduit's Physical Infrastructure Manager software has been created specifically for - to deliver on the promise of the company's UPI vision.   Effective management of a UPI-based data center requires end-to-end visibility into the various elements, which is among the key features of Panduit's PIM solution. Real-time monitoring of the end-to-end physical infrastructure - including 24/7/365 patch field scanning - provides insight into the activities within the infrastructure at all times, allowing data center IT staff to effectively monitor, configure, and troubleshoot any real and potential connectivity issues.   With such visibility, and ability to isolate and repair connectivity issues rapidly, enterprises are assured of increased network uptime and availability of all data center assets, allowing their operations to function at maximum efficiency at all times.   Read more about how Panduit's PIM solution enables real-time end-to-end visibility into the physical layer infrastructure here, and for more on the PIM platform and Panduit's UPI vision, check out the extensive resources on the Smart Data Centers community on TMCnet.

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.    

UPI Approach the Answer for Infrastructure Management

October 30, 2009

With the rapid growth of IP-based communications across converged buildings and communications, each point of connection across the physical infrastructure is "mission critical."

The U.S. data center industry is in the midst of a major growth period stimulated by increasing demand for data processing and storage. According to an Energy Star report to Congress, during the past five years, increasing demand for computer resources has led to significant growth in the number of data center servers, along with an estimated doubling in the energy used by these servers and the power and cooling infrastructure that supports them.

A key component of Panduit's unified physical infrastructure approach allows for integration and risk management by aligning and balancing critical systems - power, communication, computing, security, and control - throughout the enterprise. Many of the so-called pain points in data centers are a direct result of the current economic climate, with a major focus on energy costs and sustainability.


Panduit's vision for a unified physical infrastructure focuses on optimizing power and cooling resources to not only cut costs, but to maximize the potential of a data center's physical footprint in providing additional capabilities without having to invest in additional resources.


A key pillar of the company's UPI vision is cost reduction, whereby the scalability of platform capabilities provides cost‐effective growth as business needs change, including future software platform capabilities for power, cooling and space.

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.
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