Green IT Evangelist
SAP Labs, LLC
Head of Solution Management Green IT & Director of
SAP Technology Platform
Green IT’s “Perfect Storm”
Cutting Costs, Increasing Efficiency, and Saving the Planet — All Within an SAP-Orchestrated Framework
Ask any group of IT professionals to define “green IT,” and you will very likely receive a dozen different answers. To many, green IT focuses on efficiencies for data centers and the overall IT infrastructure. In the marketplace, green IT has come to mean everything from virtualization (server or desktop) to cloud computing, and from energy management to simple cost-cutting.
In this article, SAP’s Roland Wartenberg and Juergen Lindner describe how green IT relates to the overall sustainability efforts of SAP and its ecosystem, and how SAP and partners are working to help their customers untangle the web of green IT and provide overall guidance for sustainability.
Businesses, governmental and non-governmental bodies, politicians, and IT vendors are in agreement: sustainable “green” business is the shape of things to come. If companies cannot prove to the public that they are moving toward sustainability and green IT business practices, they will be at a distinct disadvantage.
We at SAP witness perfect storm conditions in the market — where environmental awareness, the mandate for energy cost containment, and the availability of technologies to counter those issues often puts the IT department in the spotlight as the main driver for energy costs. And IT departments are wondering how SAP — together with its ecosystem — can help prepare them now and, at the same time, prepare them for what’s down the road.
Trends leading to this heightened awareness include:
- Significant increases in energy costs over the past two years that have sharpened the awareness that, while memory and hardware may be cheap, the power to run them is not
- Greater attention by politicians and government officials who are creating regulations and legislation to drive adoption of greener business practices
- A media climate that is carrying the green banner, as well as advertising and marketing professionals who are making great efforts to demonstrate that their companies are practicing sustainability, and consequently, green IT
- Maturing and available technology providing meaningful levers to address green IT-related issues, for example, virtualization
Businesses are turning to their IT departments to determine if the company is doing everything it can to reduce energy consumption and that it has leveraged all available sustainability options.
Creating True Green Initiatives
Building a legitimate business case to support green initiatives can be a sizeable endeavor. Many companies don’t know where to start, which is why our customers are approaching us, seeking guidance on how to embark on a green IT journey that delivers tangible results.
Our customers usually want to know two things:
- How is green IT going to help them do their job better, faster, and at a lower cost?
- What green impact will the solutions and services have, in terms of energy savings, carbon emission reduction, and so forth?
SAP customers, like the rest of the world, are interested in helping the environment and reducing carbon footprints, but these environmental benefits need to be backed by tangible business value such as efficiency gains, cost savings, and business continuity. SAP customers are looking to green IT to help them do more with less and, in the end, have a positive impact on the bottom line.
At the same time, customers have seen too many vendors take pre-existing solutions, products, and technologies that have been available in the marketplace for years and rebrand them or rename them. We at SAP want to demonstrate to the market that we evaluate the impact of these solutions and services before positioning them in the context of green IT or sustainability — preventing us from “green washing.”
The SAP Green IT Solution Framework
To help customers address the challenges of green IT, SAP invited a select group of partners and customers to participate in the SAP Green IT Community, which aims to help SAP customers achieve both efficiency and footprint consolidation gains that support a longer-term green IT strategy, as well as provides guidance to quick wins for demonstrating immediate ROI. The first task for this community was to identify all of the functions of any given IT department and define a joint green IT portfolio out of existing products and services — refraining from “green washing” those existing offerings — SAP and its partners already had available to serve the joint customer base.
This joint work has produced the “SAP Green IT Solution Framework.” A navigational guide for SAP customers, the framework maps existing solutions and services from SAP Green IT Community members to applicable IT functions and describes how those will support the green IT strategy of any given customer. With the SAP Green IT Solution Framework, customers will find a visual matrix that the SAP Green IT Community agrees are areas for quick ROI projects, demonstrating tangible, immediate — as well as mid- to long-term — green IT opportunities to complement the customers’ green IT strategy, all based on actual experiences of SAP, its partners, and its customers.
SAP’s Ecosystem Plays a Major Role
In addition to providing the SAP Green IT Solution Framework, SAP and its partners have been working closely together to constantly provide additional innovation and guidance to the joint customer base of future green IT initiatives. This effort is materializing in several different ways:
- Filling in “white space.” Identifying white space is the first logical step — that is, finding third-party solutions and services to best tackle those areas with the customer in mind is the challenge. We are looking at co-innovation, mapping, and incorporation into or against existing roadmaps, as well as complementary partnerships.
- Constant monitoring and alignment with regulatory bodies. SAP is beginning to work with and align all key influential parties that define policies, guidelines, regulations, and laws — such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and international non-profits like Green Grid. In working with those organizations, SAP hopes to ensure compliance of its offerings with recent market development and understand how it can help shape those guidelines and policies.
- Developing metrics to measure green IT effectiveness. Using a commonly agreed upon metrics framework is key to understanding baseline trends, achieving insight and comparability with other best practices out there, and measuring your improvements — comparing not only the differences in your own carbon footprint, but also how your footprint compares to others. SAP is in the preliminary stages of identifying metrics that its customers can use to reasonably measure how their green IT initiatives are matching the objectives established by management, and how these efforts are meeting the requirements of government agencies.
To learn more, visit the SAP Community Network at http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/bpx/sustainability or www.sapsustainabilityreport.com to read the SAP Sustainability Report.
back to top
Director, Global SAP Alliances
Save Energy While Energizing Your Business
Virtualized Solutions Make It Possible
Companies are looking to achieve higher levels of business excellence through improved sustainability — and virtualization has one of the greatest impacts on reducing IT energy consumption. In fact, SAP highlights virtualization as an important part of its strategy to minimize the energy footprint of SAP solutions.1 And VMware, like SAP, is committed to helping its customers achieve these sustainability improvements.
Improve Sustainability Through Virtualization
In 2007, Gartner estimated that the applications running in the 1.2 million virtual machines existing at the time resulted in aggregate power savings of about 8.5 billion kWh — more electricity than New England consumes annually for heating, ventilation, and cooling.2
VMware estimates that every server a company virtualizes results in annual savings of 7,000 kWh — which equates to eliminating four tons of carbon emissions, taking 1.5 cars off the road, or planting 20 trees.
In fact, virtualization is such a well-proven solution for reducing energy use that more than 40 North American utility providers3 now offer financial incentives for virtualization projects that reduce the number of physical servers in a data center. SAP customers who participate in these programs can not only reduce the carbon footprint of their IT landscapes, but also achieve significant financial savings.
VMware Helps You Improve Sustainability
VMware provides the technologies your company needs to make an even deeper impact on energy consumption and achieve improved sustainability. Our VMware vSphere virtualization platform promotes server consolidation, limits server sprawl, and enables more efficient use of existing server and storage resources. vSphere uses Distributed Power Management (DPM) functionality, which monitors server utilization and intelligently powers off unneeded physical servers without affecting reliability and service levels. When demand increases, the DPM functionality turns the servers back on to meet the need (see figure).
With vSphere, VMware enables a dynamic compute infrastructure in which business solutions and services are delivered seamlessly out of pooled resources. This kind of environment can reduce energy consumption by 50% or more, by optimizing the utilization of server, storage, and network resources. In addition, new business services can be developed and delivered without requiring hardware purchases that expand the corporate energy footprint. Older applications and services can run on newer, more energy-efficient hardware, and companies don’t need to over-provision to handle uncommon peak usage situations.
With its flexible, responsive infrastructure, vSphere not only enables the kind of continuous innovation in services and dynamic business process operations that SAP envisions for its customers — it is also a fundamental enabler of a more sustainable IT environment. Visit www.vmware.com/sap for more information.
|Distributed Power Management functionality and the VMotion and VMware ESX components of vSphere
1 See www.sap.com/usa/solutions/sustainability/offerings/green-it/index.epx. [back]
2 See “Gartner Says Agility Will Become the Primary Measure of Data Centre Excellence by 2012” by Gartner, Inc. (November 24, 2007). [back]
3 A complete list of utility providers that offer incentive programs can be found at www.vmware.com/solutions/greenIT/greengrid.html. [back]
back to top
Global SAP Market
Going Green with Sun
Achieve Tremendous Savings with a Balanced Approach to Green IT
IT organizations are up against hard constraints in their data centers, many of which are running out of space and hitting their power and cooling limits. In fact, in some electricity markets, the cost to power a server is greater than the price of the hardware it powers, adding an economic incentive to purchase energy-efficient servers, storage, and network components. In some areas, the cost of this inefficiency is so high that IT organizations require vendors to include carbon footprint data along with their hardware sales proposals.
However, despite the growing importance of lowering energy consumption, companies should not strive for this efficiency at the cost of several other important underlying characteristics of a data center: scalability, reliability, availability, serviceability, manageability, and security. Striking a balance is the key here.
Overcome the Space, Power, and Cooling Crunch
Sun’s Eco-Optimized SAP Data Center solutions provide a methodology for upgrading existing SAP Business Suite applications with eco-efficient Sun servers, storage systems, Solaris operating systems, and industry-leading virtualization technologies. These solutions provide energy efficiency, while maintaining a scalable, reliable, and secure data center. As you consider a green IT initiative, keep in mind these pieces of advice to reduce your energy and data center footprint:
- You can’t improve what you can’t measure. With the Sun Value Tool-Eco, you can model your current IT environment to fully uncover and understand many environmental aspects of your data center, including floor space costs, power costs, and carbon dioxide generation. These metrics provide a baseline from which to start your green initiative and determine areas of improvement.
- Replace legacy hardware with new, powerful, more energy-efficient servers and storage systems. The Sun server and storage system — including its CPUs, RAM, power supplies, cooling systems, and disks — is designed to increase performance and efficiency. And with tools like Sun SwaP and Power Calculators, you can calculate how a single server affects the data center.
- Consolidate applications and virtualize resources to increase flexibility and utilization. Sun is working with SAP to integrate its no-cost virtualization technologies with the SAP Adaptive Computing Controller tool to enable companies to start, stop, and relocate SAP instances in a virtualized environment.
- Run an optimized operating system to take advantage of the intelligent performance and automated energy efficiency built into new processors, like the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. One such system is Sun’s Solaris 10. A study by Crimson Consulting Group determined that running Solaris 10 on Sun’s hardware rather than Solaris 9 can result in an average power and cooling savings of approximately 60%, and an average space savings — from consolidation and virtualization — of approximately 57%.1
- Increase the efficiency of data center power and cooling distribution. Sun gained valuable experience from redesigning its own data centers, cutting its utility bill by 60% and earning over $1 million in rebates. Based on this experience, Sun offers services that can help you choose the right path toward eco-efficiency and cost savings.
- Extract the most efficiency from your data center by considering every aspect of your IT architecture and keeping track of advancements, such as new chip designs that will provide alternative ways of storing data through a solid state disk.
To learn more, visit www.sun.com/sap/upgrade.
1 See www.sun.com/offers/details/solaris10upgrade.xml to learn more. [back]
back to top
Citrix Systems, Inc.
Start a Green Initiative for Your IT Infrastructure and Beyond
Citrix Desktop and Application Delivery Solutions
Traditionally, electrical power consumption has not been considered critical design criteria for data centers and computers and has not been effectively managed as an IT expense. However, as concern about unsustainable levels of power usage increases, the momentum for green IT is growing.
Exponential increases in power and cooling costs in recent years, as well as increased customer demand for concentrated computing, is now outpacing the availability of clean, reliable power. Prominent industry leaders and analysts, government agencies, and environmental groups now realize that improving energy efficiency — in the data center and on the desktop — is one of the most significant issues facing technology providers and their customers today.
Virtualization and the Green Data Center
To effectively respond to energy cost, demand, and availability challenges, organizations must be able to maintain or increase the capacity of their IT infrastructure while reducing their energy consumption — they need to undertake a green IT initiative.
Desktop and application virtualization technologies, as well as intelligent server provisioning and load management, can help organizations meet their green IT goals by improving energy efficiency. For example:
- Streaming the entire operating system (OS) to diskless server hardware reduces server power consumption by up to 15%. In addition, bare-metal or hypervisor provisioning capabilities allow for time-based server configurations, such as scheduling desktop and application delivery during business hours and back-end processing operations at night.
- Optimizing transition control protocol (TCP) processes, traffic management, caching, and SSL acceleration capabilities that efficiently offload Web server functions reduces the amount of hardware required to service many Web platforms.
- Replacing desktops with energy efficient devices, like thin clients, and delivering virtual desktops and applications reduces power consumption.
Energy efficiency brings additional green IT benefits. For example, application and desktop virtualization and delivery, in contrast to local application and desktop deployment, can extend the life of corporate desktops, which often contain hazardous and non-biodegradable materials. This effectively reduces the frequency of desktop refresh programs and the volume of waste for disposal.
Citrix Makes Green IT Possible
The Citrix Delivery Center, which includes Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenServer, and Citrix NetScaler, is a comprehensive green IT desktop and application delivery solution that provides all of the energy-efficient capabilities outlined above and much more. Many SAP customers — as well as SAP itself — use Citrix technology to securely deliver applications to users, providing them with green IT benefits while maintaining high performance at low cost.
Citrix solutions also help reduce the need for business travel, enabling organizations to speed up green IT initiatives and immediately benefit from reducing their carbon footprint and cutting costs. Citrix GoToMeeting, Citrix GoToWebinar, and Citrix GoToAssist provide a centralized virtual workplace environment and offer collaboration capabilities that enable users to host virtual webinars and meetings, and share documents in real time. These solutions not only reduce vehicle carbon emissions, they also bring indirect green benefits, such as reducing consumption of office supplies.
Learn more at www.citrix.com/greenIT.
back to top