Kate's Comment

Thoughts on British ICT, energy & environment, cloud computing and security from Memset's MD

Why We Don’t Need Icelandic Data Centres

In summer, you don’t need to go somewhere cold. You just need to let your data centre run hot and spray some water into your dry air coolers. That way you can avoid the potential risk around your power supply and you don’t have to compromise your latency.

My first environmental science expedition – Najas Flexilis and Islay

I am feeling quite pleased with myself this week having taken my passion for environmentalism to the next step, by participating in a field work project! My partner, Izzy, is doing her PhD on the rare, protected freshwater plant Najas flexillis, pictured in its local native habitat to the right. You can read about her exploits at her Web site…

CRC down on the farm

Response to the CRC changes in the Autumn Statement Intellect UK (Britain’s high tech trade association) and I have been fighting hard to get the CRC scrapped over the last couple of years since it was a truly cretinous piece of legislation and they repeatedly ignored our recommendations during the many consultations. It is particularly damaging to data centres, which…

Green Economy Council – May 2012 (green skills & adaption)

These are my raw, unedited notes from the latest green economy council meeting. I thought some of you might find it interesting to have an insight into the sorts of things that we discuss. Updates from the ministers Rt Hon Vince Cable MP – BIS New philosophy of cross-sector and cross-specialism collaboration, pioneered/exemplified by the GEC has become increasingly embedded…

Energy-efficient cloud computing: Jevons Paradox vs. Moore’s Law

I am in my final year of a part-time PhD attempting to answer whether Moore’s Law (which has accurately predicted that computational power will roughly double per unit of cost or unit of energy every two years for some time) will mitigate the Jevons Paradox (see inset) in relation to energy efficiency of ICT thus allowing ICT to be an…

Energy of downloads

The music and movies industry are keen to tell us how enormously energy intensive downloading media can be. But just how much energy does get used when you download stuff from the Internet? I plugged some numbers from our data centre into my calculator to find out! The answer? About 5.9 Watt-hours per Megabyte, but as little as 1.8 Wh/MB for some configurations.

ICT: Part of the solution to climate change

As the day-to-day use of ICT continues to rise, concern is growing about the carbon emissions indirectly caused by the manufacture of the electronics that litter our lives and the steady rise in the electricity required to power our personal devices and data centres. However, the debate should be less about ICT’s tiny contribution to global warming and more about how ICT can be used to reduce carbon emissions across society.

Embedded energy of servers & PC’s

Over the last two years there has been a lot of debate about what the embedded energy of a PC or server is compared with how much power it uses. I have crunched the numbers and believe that the figure for a server is about 1,000,000 Watt-hours (1MWh). Here is how I worked it out, and why it means that you should sweat the desktops but replace the servers.

BCS video debate: IT policies and your green credentials

Back in February this year I tool part in one of a series of video debates on green IT hosted by the BCS as one of four “industry experts”. The topic was “IT policies and your green credentials”. Watch the video here…

Why the Carbon Reduction Commitment is bad for data centres

The Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme aims to reduce absolute carbon dioxide emissions from large non-energy intensive organisations in both the public and private sector. In this article I discuss the impact of the CRC on data centres and why it will likely be counter-productive in the context of reducing carbon emissions.