The paths to green data centers are varied, and in the end, companies tend to adopt green data center strategies that are compatible with their cultures and investment habits.
Three cases in point are large enterprises in different vertical industries: First National Bank of Nebraska, an Omaha, Nebraska-based financial services company; Highmark , the largest health care insurer in Pennsylvania; and Dade County, which supports the needs of Dade County, Florida citizens, including citizens of the city of Miami. All three enterprises have implemented successful, but different, green strategies.
First National Bank of Nebraska
First National Bank of Nebraska serves over 6.6 million banking customers. When Ken Kucera walked through the door in 2003 and saw 600 Wintel servers, 40 Sun servers, a Tandem computer and an IBM System z mainframe in his data center, his immediate thought was to reduce the server headcount in the data center, simplify IT architecture and save on power and other costs. For instance, using a mainframe virtualization strategy, Kucera shrunk his Wintel server footprint by 88 percent.
Part of the TCO/ROI methodology employed by Kucera's team included analysis of the energy consumption and cost of operation of virtually every IT asset. "The server consolidation allowed us to keep the lights on for less," said Kucera. "It also allowed us to move more persons from maintenance functions. I would estimate that 60 percent of the IT staff was working on new applications, and that 40 percent was committed to maintenance and daily operations before consolidation. Now, that percentage split has moved to 70 percent of IT personnel on new development and initiatives, and 30 percent for maintenance and daily operations."