The Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) presented its 2011 Data Center Efficiency Summit Friday at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. IBM served as host for the event. The SVLG dates back 30 years and was started by Dave Packard (co-founder of HP) and others in the technology industry.
Jai Menon, of IBM, greeted the attendees and emphasized the practical nature of the discussions. He noted that 95 percent of the conference material was focused on what you can do immediately in your data center.
The discussion on airflow included techniques, like reducing fan speeds and wireless monitoring, that can be implemented to reduce energy costs and eliminate problems with hot and cold spots. See Focus on Fans Delivers Cost Savings on Cooling for more on this panel session.
Dennis Symanski, of Electric Power Research Institute, presented a case study of the Duke Energy company's data center experiment with the use of DC power. Small changes to the power supply on the servers enabled them to run at 380VDC.
In a forward-looking panel, speakers discussed how to move from the traditional Facilities and IT silos, emphasizing that the human factor of changing decision-makers minds often blocks real energy and cost savings.
It's hard to ignore IBM's history in the technology sector, when you can bump into it in the halls of their facility. The photo above shows two of the world's first hard disk drives which were invented by IBM in San Jose in 1955. The first commercial hard disk shipped in 1956, with the IBM 305 RAMAC machine.