Monday, August 17, 2009

Greening NetApps Internal Data Centers

Dave Robbins, CTO, IT Infrastructure at NetApp recently discussed how they have transformed their IT operations from a legacy of inefficient and costly practices to its current level of enviable data center efficiency illustrated by a predicted PUE of 1.2 in their latest data center. Dave’s presentation at the recent analyst event proved to be informative and enjoyable and challenged other practitioners to revisit their practices and as suggested in my recent blog “Are fossilized processes impacting your business?” question the status quo.

Dave’s discussion was shaped by the accomplishments of his team over the past couple of years with the following offering some insight into the team’s achievements.

By implementing VMware they reduced x86 based clients from 4600 to 230 saving $1.3M in power and cooling and reducing the number of racks needed by 182.

How about their Oracle environment? They consolidated midrange servers to logically partitioned enterprise class servers which added 300% capacity to production servers and increased the development landscape by 143%. Replication time was also shortened by 2400% (from 1-2 days to 1hr). The need to for a 74% increase in floor space was avoided as was the need for 81% additional power, saving an additional draw on the power grid of 236kW. A great illustration of what a bit of planning can do.

So what was achieved as a direct result of NetApp technology? Primarily a consolidation/virtualization strategy that reduced storage systems from 50 to 10. This freed up 19.5 racks in the data center and reduced power consumption by 41,184KWh/mth which reduced energy consumption by 32%. Air conditioning was reduced by 94 tons which translates to eliminating approximately 1M lbs of CO2 annually and as a bonus they also increased storage utilization by 60%.

If you are interested in learning more check out Wikibon who will be hosting Dave in a teleconference that will discuss this topic later this month.