Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dell: We May Never Build Another Data Center

Robin Johnson, Dell's CIO, and Dane Parker, its Global Facilities Lead, took part in the virtual conference (you can attend it online through WebEx) yesterday to talk about how the greenest data center is the one you never build.

Dell surveyed its customer base about demand for new hardware and data center floor space, and found that 65 percent of its customers were out of space and considering new facilities. Despite being in the same position as their customers, Dell held off, a move Johnson described as a cost-mitigation play, buying a year's worth of time to think the decision through while renting out a colocation facility.

"The thing that happened in that year is that, one, technology gets cheaper, smaller and more powerful year over year," Johnson said. "And the other key was virtualization, which I describe as carpooling."

By virtualizing their servers, Dell was able to go from an industry average 12-18 percent utilization for its servers to 42 percent utilization, a number that Parker says is still "going north." As a result, "we've doubled our workload at no extra power, and no extra servers," Johnson said.

|| David K. Shepherd ||

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