I had a seemingly otherworldly experience last week at a briefing from a couple of Dell execs about the company's newly released Advanced Infrastructure Management package, a suite for managing physical and virtual application workloads in the datacenter. As a devotee to my sustainable/green-tech beat, I pressed the gentlemen (Paul Prince, large enterprise CTO and Praveen Asthana, vice president of enterprise storage and networking) on the green benefits of the product.
Rather than embracing the opportunity, the reps of what aspires to be the world's greenest technology company told me, essentially, that the only green feature they could think of was a power management tool -- but didn't have any specifics to share. More surprising to me, they said that customers they talk to aren't really concerned about greening their datacenters. Almost as an afterthought to my line of green-oriented questions, the execs assured me that Dell itself does care about green and is taking steps to make its products and operations greener. But again, they said green wasn't a concern for their customers.
[ Learn about the winners of InfoWorld's 2008 and 2009 Green 15 awards, 30 companies that are concerned about green. | Find out how RagingWire employs green practices to keep prices down and power consumption in check. ]
What, then, are datacenter operators concerned about, according to Dell? Boosting efficiency and cutting costs, which AIM is designed to do. Basically, it gives admins a means of dynamically allocating and reallocating storage, compute, and network resources to meet the demands of current workloads on a more-or-less real-time basis. This approach would, for example, allow an admin to spread workloads in such a way that underutilized servers kick in when demand hits a certain level. Also, per Dell, it helps reduce the number of failover servers a company requires.