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

Changing Principles

In EA, architecture principles set a framework for making architectural decisions.  They help to establish a common understanding across different groups of stakeholders, and provide guidance for portfolios and projects.  Michael Durso of the LSE gave a good introduction to the idea in a webinar last week for the UCISA EA community.

Many organisations take the TOGAF architecture principles as a starting point.  These are based on the four architectural domains of TOGAF: business, information/data, applications, technology/infrastructure.  These principles tend to describe what should be done, e.g. re-use applications, buy in software rather than build it, keep data secure.  See for example the principles adopted at Plymouth University and the University of Birmingham.

Recently though, I encountered a different way of looking at principles.  The user experience design community tend to focus more on how we should do things.  E.g. we should start with user needs, use iterative developm…

Why the UCISA Capability Model is useful

What do Universities do?

This may seem a strange question to ask and the answer may seem obvious.  Universities educate students and undertake research.  And perhaps they work with industrial partners and create spin-off companies of their worn.  And they may work with local communities, and affiliation bodies for certain degress, and they definitely report on their activities to government bodies such as HEFCE.  They provide student services and support.  The longeryou think about it, the more things you can think of that a University does.

In business, the things that an organisation does are called "capabilities", which is a slightly strange term.  I think it is linked to the HR idea of a combination of the CAPacity and ABILITY to do a task.  Whatever the name, it is a useful concept.  A capability is more basic than a process: a University may change the way it educates students but as long as it remains a University it will educate them one way or another.

A capability …

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…