Skip to main content

More on "green" data centres

In order to expand our "community of practice" on energy-efficient data centres, we have visited several people or groups who have an interest in the topic.

Just over a week ago, some NeSC colleagues and I visited BRE's Scottish office. BRE used to be known as the Buildings Research Establishment and the folk at their East Kilbride office are particularly interested in sustainable development. So far they've been mainly working with housing and small businesses, but they seem potentially interested in modelling larger establishments. They are also interested in multi-level modelling of heat flow within buildings; something our e-science connections could definitely help with. We also had a good conversation about DC power circuits.

This week, I was invited to speak at a meeting of the Russell University Group IT directors (RUGIT) - i.e. the people responsible for ICT at many of our leading universities. I presented some of the outcomes from the HTC week in November and GCN's Green IT webinar, both of which led to stimulating conversations.

My colleagues in GCN have also been talking to interesting people. The most recent of these was someone who has retrofitted fresh-air cooling to existing data centres. I wish I'd known about that before the RUGIT meeting, as this was one of the ideas that was most heavily discussed! I will have to settle for passing on the information now.

I'd like to see these discussions and relationships lead to a "best practices" document, perhaps beginning with the university sector, as the universities are comparatively open about their businesses. We've a way to go before this happens.

In the meantime, I'm putting together ideas for another webinar. I'll blog here if this becomes a reality.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A new EA Repository

One of my goals since starting this job two years ago has always been to create a repository for architecture documents.  The idea is to have a central store where people can find information about the University's applications, data sources, business processes, and other architectural information.  This store will make it easier for us to explain our plans, to show the current state of the University's information systems, and to explain what Enterprise Architecture is all about.

It's taken a long time to reach this goal, mainly because we're often had more pressing and immediate work to be done.  The creation of a repository is one of those tasks that is very important but never quite urgent.  So I'm now very happy to say that we are in the process of deploying a repository and modelling tool.


This is the culmination of a careful process to select the most appropriate tool for our needs.  We began by organising several workshops to gather requirements from a rang…

A brief summary of our major initiatives

I notice that in 2016 I wrote 34 posts on this blog.  This is only my fifth post in 2017 and we're already three-quarters of the way through the year.  Either I've suddenly got lazier, or else I've had less time to spend writing here.  As I'm not inclined to think of myself as especially lazy, I'm plumping for the latter explanation.

There really is a lot going on.  The University has several major initiatives under way, many of which need input from the Enterprise Architecture section.

The Service Excellence programme is overhauling (the buzzword is "transforming") our administrative processes for HR, Finance, and Student Administration.  Linked to this is a programme to procure an integrated ERP system to replace the adminstrative IT systems. 

Enabling Digital Transformation is a programme to put the middleware and architecture in place so that we can make our processes "digital first".  We're implementing an API framework, a notification…

Business Model Canvas

A Business Model Canvas is a tool for mapping the core functions and capabilities of an organisation.  Compared to the Core Diagrams that I described in an earlier post, the business model canvas attempts to present more aspects of the business, starting with the value proposition – a statement of what the organisation offers to its users (in the business world, to its customers).  It shows the activities and resources, as Core Diagrams do, but also shows user relationships & channels, and also benefits and costs.  I’m not aware of any universities that have used this tool but you can find examples from elsewhere on the web.

We are considering business model canvases as a tool for mapping the strategic capabilities of units at the University of Edinburgh.  Phil Taylor, our EA contractor, sketched an outline of what a business model canvas might begin to look like for HR:
This is only intended to be suggestive: the real canvas would need to result from in-depth discussions about th…