The Three R’s of the Data Center

My daughter recently brought home from school a photocopy of the lyrics of Jack Johnson’s “The 3 R’s” (from the Curious George soundtrack), which encourage us to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. This struck me as relevant in some of the recent discussions I have been having about Greenwashing in the Data Center.

A fair amount of our data center strategy deals with driving down costs. We’re trying to spend less money to deliver the same or better results. Along the way, we find opportunities to be green. While I would love to have more meetings that start out with the question of “what can we do to help the environment?” rather than “what can we do to cut costs?”, we do talk about both. This is somewhat similar to consumer-oriented eco-efforts, encouraging people to save the world while saving money: unplug electronic devices when they're not being used, replace your appliances with more energy-efficient ones, etc. I don't know of many people or organizations who wouldn't like to spend less money, and when we can help the environment at the same time it's win-win.

Which brings me back to the song lyrics. Our cost-cutting measures tend to be related to at least two of the three “R’s” – reducing what we consume, many times by reusing what we already have. I’ll spend my next few posts exploring this a bit further, giving some specific examples of our cost-savings initiatives that ultimately contribute to a greener data center and IT infrastructure.

Happy Earth Day...