Recently I told you about the CIO Forum that we just co-hosted with Dell – as a venue for discussing the challenges that CIOs face in improving the efficiency of data centers, particularly with regard to energy efficiency. Here’s a quick rundown of the Aug. 18 event that attracted more than 175 attendees, representing 128 companies.
After a welcome address from our CEO Charlie Bae, my presentation over lunch covered disruptive green memory technologies (Green DDR3 and SSDs pioneered by Samsung) and the need for a holistic approach to power-savings in the data center. But let me fill you in on the great line-up of speakers:
- Lorie Wigle, GM of Eco-Technology at Intel and President of Climate Savers Computing shared compelling views on energy efficiency. In her presentation, she underscored that 2% of global CO2 emissions come from IT and communications equipment. Check out her presentation, “54 Million Tons.”
- Vishal Sikka, a member of the executive board of SAP, gave the first keynote on “In-Memory Computing: A New Paradigm.” He shared interesting views on RAM optimized infrastructure on premise as well as cloud computing. At the event, Michael Kanellos from GreenTechMedia posted an insightful rundown of the news that SAP will be releasing an application that helps utilities mine meter data to save power.
- Dell’s Forrest Norrod presented his thoughts on “The Holistic Approach to Data Center Energy Efficiency.” He discussed Dell’s energy focus that extends from the component level to overall data operations.
- Google’s Green Energy Czar, Bill Weihl, spoke about “Energy-efficient Computing at Google.” I was really interested in the insights from Google and Climate Savers Computing on best practices for efficient data centers.
- Brian Byun from VMware presented on “The Virtualization Solution to the Energy/Efficiency Equation” in another illuminating discourse from the software side. Virtualization is a hot topic especially in the context of the slowing growth rate of electricity used in servers, so this was a very timely presentation.
- To zero in on the underlying costs of infrastructure modernization, the forum had a provacative panel session entitled “Maximizing ROI for Today’s Data Center.” It was moderated by Mark Monroe from The Green Grid and had panelists from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Pelio & Associates in addition to yours truly.I’m fascinated by the Facebook’s Open Compute Project and was happy to listen to what Facebook’s Frank Frankovsky had to say about it.” He gave us an enlightening behind-the-scenes look into how Facebook is growing its data centers.
- In his a superb presentation on “Powering the World’s Servers and Clouds,” Mike Neil from Microsoft revealed some great tips on optimizing business particularly with regards to energy efficiency. At Microsoft, data centers cost over $100 million but innovation is at the core of the IT team’s focus, where the company’s data centers are measured in football fields and megawatts!
Last, but certainly not least, we heard from Steve Westly, the former State Controller and Chief Financial Officer of California and currently Managing Partner of The Westly Group. His keynote, “The Clean Tech Revolution: What it Means for Governments, the World’s Largest Companies and You” provided a great deal of insight into the threats being posed to our environment and who is taking the lead in the burgeoning Clean Tech revolution.
Steve shared his views on alternative energy and clean tech industries, the role of entrepreneurship and risk-taking in innovation, and the sweet spot for green IT. Attendees were energized by his remarks on how California is leading the way with tougher pollution standards for vehicles and through its nurturing of clean tech start-ups. I like how Steve challenged CIOs and other attendees to take what they learned at our CIO Forum and apply it to their ongoing efforts to reduce energy consumption. For more on Steve’s keynote presentation, you might want to check out a podcast interview of Steve by Robert Scoble.
Would love to hear your reactions to the event and additional insights on challenges that CIOs have to tackle!