March 17, 2014, 2:34 PM — CIOs need to ditch a "server mentality" in favour of a service model for a greener IT agenda to take hold, according to a Credit Suisse IT veteran.
Marcel Ledergerber, head of data centre facilities, design and planning at Credit Suisse, told CIO UK that a change in thinking should be the order of the day. "My analogy would be - don't buy your own bus, ride on one run by a third party to reach your goal. Use infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, network as a service, program as a service, and so on.
"IT bosses must ask for a data centre service and not a server. Furthermore, in the efficient world that I envision, CIOs don't want to hire their own tech geeks, but rather outsource everything. I am not claiming that's happening everywhere or is in fact possible everywhere, but such a thinking is on the up."
Ledergerber made the comments at the launch of GreenDataNet project, a 2.9 million (£2.4 million) European Union initiative aimed at improving data centre power usage effectiveness (PUE) and the adoption of renewable energy.
"We are joining this project consortium [led by power supply management company Eaton], with the objective of reducing the average PUE of urban data centres from its current range of 1.6 to 2.0 to less than 1.3."
Other consortium partners include Nissan, ICTRoom, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Lausanne) and the University of Trento (Italy).
GreenDataNet is expected to publish its findings and reveal the end-concept in 2017. The entire solution will be implemented on an open source platform to allow third parties to provide additional optimisation modules and ensure the long-term sustainability of the project.
Ledergerber says the consortium wants to make its voice heard on green IT agenda. "Every CIO should do likewise. If a company wants to further the sustainability agenda, then green IT must be at its core. If its CIO makes a top down decision to further green credentials, people lower down the departmental ladder will recognise that and will work and respond accordingly."
The Credit Suisse veteran, who once maintained IBM mainframes back in 1972 as a young IT professional and went on to be widely credited with designing the global bank's data centre in Switzerland in 2003, says it is time for CIOs to come into their element.
"IT heads in this digital age are innovators simply because we are saving money, we are keeping the infrastructure under control, we are making hypothetical cases to our company boards for the effective usage of two servers instead of 30 underutilised ones, we are establishing green IT specialist groups; the list and scope of our work is vast," he adds.
But on the flipside, Ledergerber also says that efficiencies of scale tangents have invariably increased the homework and workload of CIOs these days. "And that's especially so at financial institutions."