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Capacity Management and Green IT

Aug 4, 2008

George Spafford


Part of this necessitates that Capacity Management have the appropriate tools to monitor and model the various resources that it is responsible for. This includes access to relevant electrical bills, tools for monitoring power consumption to the data center, or even the rack and device levels. It also includes understanding relationships between business activities, the supporting IT services and the resulting power demands.


Monitoring current consumption levels and tracking trends are critical. Through analysis of the variance between planned and actual, organizations can understand how they are progressing and use this as a feedback loop for continuous improvement and future budgets.


Reporting needs to be developed that provides the necessary management information for command and control to the relevant stakeholders. There are various metrics being developed in the industry to assist with the tracking of energy consumption. GreenGrid.org has identified Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), Data Center Effective (DCE) and short term metrics to track and then longer term the Data Center Performance Efficiency (DCPE) metric. Stakeholders must be consulted to understand what they need to know and how it should be presented to make effective decisions.


In closing, energy costs are going up and management attention is focusing on how to not only manage these costs but also minimize impacts to the environment. Through effective and efficient Capacity Management, organizations can achieve both in a sustainable manner.


George Spafford is a principal consultant with Pepperweed Consulting and a long-time IT professional. George's professional focus is on compliance, security, management and overall process improvement.