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In the entire "Go Big to Get Small" Series I posted here I went into great detail about what we were after, and how exactly we planned to do it. I named names: Device types. like the Dell M1000e and IBM Pureflex Chassis, to name but two.


The goals were lofty, and based off early work we had confidence.


Still, the number one question I get is basically "Yes, but whats the reality of all that? Sure, you  are replacing lots of old gear with new, and you are staying inside your run rate, but its all just a beautiful plan. Call me when its real."


Except now its not just a pie-in-the-sky plan. Its reality. We are not done yet, but Phase One is complete, and the results are in.


Starting Place Two Years Ago


To understand where we are now, lets go back to the beginning of the project, two years ago, and see what we had:


  • USA DC 1:
    • 38,000 square feet
    • Consuming 542 KW
  • USA DC 2
    • 4,248 Square feet
    • Consuming 127 KW
  • International DC
    • 4,000 square feet
    • 450 KW
  • Total:
    • 46,248 square feet
    • 1,119 Megawatts


If you go back a decade those power numbers are higher: Virtualization had taken a bite out of them, but it was organic. For example, in the International DC over the previous 10 years we had dropped from 600 down to 450 as a result, and in the DC 1 listed above, back around 2001 it was consuming 1.1 Megawatts or so.


Knowing the starting place is important in the discussion though, and this project was about reducing the number in my outline above, and that story starts in July of 2012.


Where We Are Today


Those three DC's are now two:


  • USA combined DC
    • 2,500 Square feet
    • 160KW
  • International moved DC
    • 800 Square feet
    • 80 KW
  • Total
    • 3,300 square feet
    • 240 KW


It was more than consolidation. It was downright collapse of footprint, and yet we have *more* system images running now than when we started.


A 14x reduction in floor space, and a 4.6x reduction in power consumption.


PS: Not only is this much Greener than it was, we did it in the old run rate, and will save from this project alone several million dollars. There is a sort of rule of thumb about spending on Green Tech: If its more than a 10% uplift, it won't happen. Google anything about spending on Green tech and you'll see article after article talking about *not* spending more, just to have it be Green in some way.


What about being Green AND saving money? Money you can then use to re-invest in the business? Most people would take that deal.


Here is what all the various blade architectures I documented in the "Go Big to Get Small" series look like all together in the USA DC:




Note all the room for new blades / chassis around these. In the USA DC, I have 40 48U empty racks!


Why? Because this was three DC's and Phase One. Phase One was the low hanging fruit., We started two years ago with 26 DC's and now we have 18. We want to get down to 4 majors and 2 minors, so this space is there to absorb what is going to come here in Phase II.


The Green of this is clear of course. That kind of power reduction equals a massive reduction is CO2 emitted to power this place. One colleague of mine calculated this as being the same thing as 71 average USA houses in power savings and CO2 reductions thereof.