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Is Nuclear Power On Its Way Out?

 

Nuclear power is fast losing its popularity among governments around the world.  Germany recently shut down the 8 oldest of their 17 nuclear reactors, and passed a law to phase out the remaining 9 by 2022. Switzerland has decided to phase out all of its nuclear reactors by 2034, and Japan’s leaders are calling for a phase out of their nuclear reactors as well. On the path to phasing out nuclear power, Japan has already passed a new Renewable Energy Law.

According to the World Nuclear Association, these countries get between 25%-40% of their power from Nuclear power plants. 

Country

% Of Power from Nuclear Plants

Germany

25

Japan

30*

Switzerland

40

*According to the World Nuclear Association, this is expected to increase to at least 40% by 2017.

For every news article that mentions the dangers related to nuclear power plants (failures, radiation, unresolved nuclear waste issues), there are several more that discuss the concerns over blackouts, astronomical price increases, and a large jump in CO2 emissions from additional non-renewable energy sources. 

Based on the information provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 85% of the energy usage in the world is used by businesses. Through the use of JouleX Energy Manager, our client companies are realizing energy savings between 30% and 60%. That's a significant reduction of waste. 

Across The Board

Estimated Reduction Levels

% Of Country-Wide Energy Use

Reduced

30% (easy)

25.5%

45% (moderate)

38%

60% (aggressive)

51%

If active energy management measures were used in Germany to decrease the “across the board” business energy use by 30% (25.5% of the country’s energy use), the immediate decrease in energy usage could offset 100% of the energy lost to disabling the German nuclear power plants. This means that there would be no need for additional energy sources, price increases, blackouts, or more CO2 emissions. And that's simply from reducing energy waste...having no loss of productivity or affect on operations.

By implementing policies that reduce energy use even further, socially responsible enterprises have the ability to lower the country’s dependence on nuclear power even more, incidently while improving their organization's bottom line.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

Today is Power IT Down Day!

 
power IT down

This afternoon kicks off the 4th Annual Power IT Down Day, an even that  "encourages public sector agencies, and the industries that serve them, to power down their computers, printers, monitors and other peripherals at the end of the work day on August 26 in an effort to help the government reduce its energy consumption."

For the second year in a row Power IT Down falls on a Friday, providing a great opportunity for an even larger reduction in energy usage.

We encourage all enterprises to participate in Power IT Down Day. Go to their website and sign up! 

When you power everything back up on Monday... come take a look at the JouleX Energy Manager and learn how you can automate the reduction of energy waste every day.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

How are Carbon Taxes impacting your business?

 

Global Energy Demand will soon outpace the Global Energy Supply.  During the summer months, the demand for energy is already greater than the supply in places like Texas, California and New York City, resulting in rolling blackouts during peak times.  This would also be a problem in Japan, if not for the extreme conservation efforts of the country’s businesses and citizens.

Global Energy Demand
energydemand

Global Energy Supply
energy supply 

As governments around the world are beginning to recognize the need to address our dwindling energy supply, as well as the need to reduce harmful effects of carbon emissions on the Earth’s environment, those governments have begun implementing Carbon Taxes. Many countries, especially in the EU, that have not implemented the Carbon Tax are well on the path to doing so.

To date, the following governments have already implemented some sort of Carbon Tax:

  • Finland – 1990
  • Norway - 1991
  • Sweden – 1991
  • The Netherlands – 1992
  • Denmark - 1992
  • Costa Rica - 1997
  • United Kingdom - 2001
  • New Zealand – 2005
  • Boulder, Colorado - 2007
  • Quebec - 2007
  • British Columbia – 2008
  • Switzerland - 2008
  • India - 2010
  • Ireland - 2010

Multi-national enterprises operating in these countries are already being impacted by Carbon Tax laws and, if they have not already, should begin tracking their Carbon Emissions.  Unfortunately, until now, tracking the carbon effects of IT devices has been difficult, if not impossible.  Today, JouleX can break down tracking and reporting to a very granular level. Do you need to track and report by Country? Location? Or even Business Units?  Do you need to charge back Carbon Taxes or Carbon Credits to those same groups? We can help you with that.

JouleX Energy Manager gives companies the ability to report the carbon emissions produced by PCs, distributed office devices, and data center and facilities equipment throughout the enterprise.  Moreover, we also help organizations track the savings (in Carbon Emissions, energy usage, and energy costs) over time to help them demonstrate progress in their actions to government regulatory agencies, customers, employees, and shareholders.

Responsible enterprises around the world are already beginning to track and reduce their carbon emissions, to support their sustainability programs and green initiatives. With businesses worldwide responsible for 85% of all energy consumption, there is a huge opportunity for those businesses to reduce amount of carbon emissions. We estimate between 30-60% of energy waste could be eliminated, and keep corporations “ahead of the curve” on the costs that come about from Carbon Taxes.

We expect the trend of Carbon Taxation and/or Carbon Credits to grow, especially as the amount of energy available decreases over time.  Take the steps necessary to report, monitor, and reduce your CO2E (Carbon Dioxide Emissions) today by contacting JouleX for a demonstration.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

Questions Answered about Agentless vs Agent Based

 

Our article Agentless or Agent Based - What's the difference? prompted a comment from Guy Kawasaki with some great questions. The responses to those questions are pretty in-depth, so we wanted to answer them in full here.

1. Would you mind to elaborate on how "agent based software uses additional energy on every single device it’s installed on"?

Let me just say that in reality it depends upon the agent itself.  For the sake of discussion let’s break them down into several categories:

Shared Agent Resources: Many energy management agents are not true “energy management” agents.  There are agents that do many things, of which energy management is just one aspect.  For example, some software distribution and patch management systems do some energy management in addition to their “day” job.  Patchlink will do energy management, but there is overhead in the agent to do patch and software analysis, so that overhead does have an impact to the overall energy use of the device.  We recently did testing at an insurance customer that was using an antivirus agent, which also had some power management capabilities.  What we found was that the AV scans for this agent actually were burning over $55K worth of energy per year at just over $.03 per kwh…JUST for the virus scans.  That is a LOT of energy for just 5000 desktops computers.  Even the energy management capability of that agent couldn’t help them due to the overhead of the scans.

Heavy Agent Resources: There are also energy management agents that are “heavy” in the way the gather energy analytics.  They can add overhead to the operating system through additional drivers and interfaces needed to gather energy analytics.  There is overhead to do these calculations on the endpoint, queue data, and communicate that data back to the analysis server.  An example of this type of technology is used in 1E and Verdiem.

Embedded Agents: Another way to retrieve energy information is to utilize existing hardware and OS resources.  You call out several examples in your next statement.  SNMP, WMI, vPRO, NodeManager, iLO, DRAC, DCMI and IPMI are all different ways to retrieve energy analytics.  Some of these interfaces are out of band to the host platform itself and require absolutely no overhead to the system.  Some do have a small amount of system overhead to retrieve and communicate, but there is no additional agent overhead other than the OS or hardware itself.  JouleX fits in this category.

2. When you don't have agent, you actually use an "embedded agent" (call it SNMP, Windows WMI, or whatever). Enabling and using that function is the same as installing an agent.

You’re absolutely correct. These interfaces are in fact embedded agents.  However, there are several distinctive advantages to not having YAA! (Yet Another Agent!) for our corporate customers to manage.  The basic problem with agent technology is really less the overhead of the agents to the systems themselves, but it is the overhead of the management of agents in a large corporate environment.  Let’s take a look at some of the reasons:

Reducing Management Costs – For our customers, most of whom have 10’s of thousands of desktop computers or servers to manage, the cost of deploying, testing, and managing another agent with a vertical value is extremely high.   One of the driving costs of virtualization in today’s companies is the need to reduce complexity of the client machines configurations and testing. Our agentless solution means that we can connect to a company’s existing environment with minimal regression testing, unlike a standard agent which requires testing to see if the energy management agent is working with other desktop configuration changes.  Since we are only using standard system interfaces to query that energy data, there is minimal need for testing.

Another major problem with agent technology is tracking OS releases and patches, along with the agent updates themselves.  Most customers are forced to do regression testing before they can release patches and updates, to ensure that there are no issues with the various applications and management agents running on these desktops.  Using the standard OS interfaces to query energy data minimizes the time needed for testing and deployment.  This enables us to get mission critical security patches out faster, reducing overall security posture, and at the same time lowering the cost of management of those devices.

Quick Time to Value – By using a standard system interface such as vPRO, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Windows Remote Management (WinRM),  SNMP, Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), Data Center Manageability Interface (DCMI) or even Server Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH) and Desktop Architecture for System Hardware (DASH), you do not have to create software distribution packages to distribute your energy management agents to the thousands of machines in your corporation.   In some corporate environments, just getting through change management processes and procedures can take weeks or months for approving agents to run on production assets.  In most cases, the JEM platform can be installed and retrieving energy information from thousands of devices in less than an hour with no impact to the change management process.  Try doing that with an agent based technology.

Technological Shifts in Computing – There is a shift occurring in today’s campus computing environments.  Virtualization and Tablet computing is taking root at companies across the globe, reducing costs and complexity for the average desktop user.  One of the challenges faced by agent-based energy management technology is how to address THIS problem.  Agents become totally useless when the machine has been virtualized on a tablet or thin client.

Until you are able to retrieve energy information from other sources such as the virtual infrastructure, the Power over Ethernet (PoE) switching infrastructure or the VDI/tablet appliances, your technology has become obsolete.  JouleX developers have realized this from the beginning and have created a platform that can already handle these environments the same as any other environment.

Companies like Cisco are even beginning to deliver up to 80 Watts of power over standard Cat5 ethernet cables.  These will be the “power plugs” of the future office.  Unless you have already integrated energy metering and control into the switching fabric, you will not be able to retrieve, much less control, energy usage for those corporate users at all.

3. Lastly, I wonder how enabling Windows Management Interface (WMI) on Windows (and leaving that port open) is perceived as more secure that an agent based solution?

This is an interesting question and I am very glad you brought it up.   One can argue that WMI has been the root of many interesting security exploits.  However, as long as you are a Windows shop running Active Directory services, you are pretty much required to use WMI for management. While many long for a change in corporate computing, Microsoft still maintains a hefty dominance in the corporate world.

Domain controllers leverage WMI today for policy objects and other management structures.  Microsoft has seen this issue and has re-engineered the management infrastructure moving away from RPC-based WMI to a web-services based WinRM.  This reduces the threat landscape dramatically for those customers that use it.  Here is the catch: Who is actually using WinRM instead of WMI?  We have only seen ONE customer who  has shifted to WinRM over WMI.

Since we have to support both the legacy environment AND the new environment, JouleX supports both infrastructures.   Additionally, JouleX is also able to use standard non-privileged user credentials and lock down the access to just the WMI entries we need to calculate energy information reducing the threat landscape even more.


Thanks again for the GREAT comments. I appreciate the opportunity to delve deeper into this topic.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.

download-our-whitepaper

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

The JouleX Energy Calculator

 

We’re so passionate about helping enterprises reduce their energy use that we’ve put the JouleX Energy Calculator right on the home page. 

 energybar resized 600

The JouleX Energy Calculator provides a running tally for the world’s Year to Date energy usage as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. According to the EIA, 86% of all energy consumed worldwide is used the enterprise.

From this data, the JouleX Energy Calculator also shows you how much money spent on energy that businesses could collectively save by implementing sustainability measures to reduce their energy usage by 30%.  JouleX estimates that enterprises fully utilizing JouleX Energy Manager could achieve up to double that amount (between 30-60% savings). 

A typical New England enterprise pays on average $.15 kwh for energy.  In the first 8 ½ months of 2011, based on that rate, a 30% savings results in a potential Enterprise Savings of almost half a TRILLION dollars worldwide.

What would an energy cost reduction of 30%-60% mean to your enterprise’s bottom line? JouleX wants to know what good your company could do with that extra cash.  Please share your comments with us!

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

Sheraton Urges Guests to Save Energy

 

During a recent trip Josef Brunner, JouleX Chief Architect and co-founder, noticed that the Four Points Sheraton in San Francisco has added an energy conservation notice to their in-room information book.

"A NOTE ABOUT OUR ENERGY CRISIS AND THE TEMPORARY ENERGY SURCHARGE

Recently energy costs in the U.S. have increased dramatically, especially in the State of California where there have been supply shortages.  From time to time, California’s demand for electricity has exceeded the available supply. In order to avoid a failure of the States’ electric distribution system, the Independent Systems Operator has been forced to temporarily cut electric supply to regions within our state. These are the “rolling black-outs” you have heard about.

While we hope that you do not experience a rolling black-out during your stay, it is possible. For your information, the Indepentend Systems Operator (ISO) issues advisories letting Californians know that they, the ISO, are expecting a shortfall. These ISO warnings are categorized as either state 1, 2, or 3 emergencies, with stage 3 indicating the institution of rolling black-outs is either highly likely or imminent. On alert days, we must do our part to conserve energy.

During your stay you may want to pay more attention to our news broadcasts to become aware of any possible rolling black-outs. If operating computer equipment, you may want to take precautions such as use your battery for power supply or make frequent sa ves to your hard disk.


We would like to engage the efforts of our guests to help us conserve energy in guest rooms whenever possible.

    • Turn off all lights when you leave the room
    • Turn off TV and radio while you’re out of the room
    • Adjust the thermostat to conserve energy
    • Keep windows closed while air conditioner or heater is on

sheraton san francisco

Rolling black-outs and desperate need for energy conservation are not new to California, but it is a relatively new situation for the rest of the industrialized world. Now, more than ever, corporations and individuals alike need to focus on energy efficiency in our daily lives and extend those practices to their work lives as well. JouleX commends corporations like Sheraton who are doing their part to help reduce energy use.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

Vodafone on Green IT and JouleX: part 1

 

JouleX co-founder and chief architect, Josef Brunner, recently participated in a Vodafone video webcast on Green IT. It was a great discussion. Here's part one. Enjoy!

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

Sustainable IT Procurement

 

Energy use is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “Sustainable Procurement”.  If you’re replacing IT equipment, however, it probably should be.  Until now, the IT procurement process has often meant purchasing the least expensive device that delivered all of the features and functions required for the business’ needs.

Now that you can measure energy consumption using our agentless approach, all of the guesswork can be taken out of the IT procurement process. Measuring the energy consumption allows you to apply the utilization of the IT asset (how busy has that asset been), and the actual energy draw of the device under your normal applications and workflow, to your decision making process for procurement.

Using that data, we can compare current usage to what a new device would use. You can usually see the deltas in energy cost almost immediately, and from those deltas calculate what a lifespan cost of ownership would be for that device.   With this information, you can easily see if it makes business sense to upgrade a particular device using energy costs as one of the measurable factors.

Quick Example:

New or Current Device

Annual Cost to Operate

Total Cost – Year 1

Total Cost – 3 Yr Lifespan

$100

$100

$200

$400

$125

$50

$175

$275

$0 (current)

$150

$150

$450

Obviously the example above is very simplistic, but you can see that gathering this information before making purchasing decisions provides you with valuable information you wouldn’t otherwise have. In a sustainable procurement model, that more expensive asset ends up being the better option over the life of the device.

We’ve actually seen this play out in businesses we work with.  We installed JEM at one of our financial services customers, and immediately located several devices pulling in extraordinary amounts of energy, more than twice the normal rate per device. These were high end multi-monitor, multi-graphics head, dual core processor desktop PCs, but they were also quite old. They were running Pentium 4 processors. Equally powerful machines with today’s processors are much more energy efficient.

Being a financial services company in a down market, the IT department had not been allowed to upgrade those machines, even though they were well past the life span of typical IT assets. By measuring the energy use, we were able to almost immediately show that these computers were pulling over 200 watts per hour. An equivalent new machine would pull less than 80 watts. In operating expense savings alone, the new device would pay for itself in less than 2 years.

Our client was able to take this data and make a financial case to upgrade those old machines, which were costing the company even more money in service and support because they failed so frequently, based on the case of energy savings alone because it was measurable and could be shown.

This same measurement principle can be used for any IT device your enterprise employs. You can now compare old devices and new devices and make a valid business decision on when it makes the most sense to upgrade that device.

Over time, our clients are finding more and more practical business applications for this new ability to measure, monitor, and control their enterprise’s energy use. The procurement process is just one more place in your enterprise where having granular visibility into your IT energy use can save your company money in the short and long term.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

Agentless or Agent Based - What's the difference?

 

Enterprises trying to find the right energy management solution for their businesses need to know what the agent based/agentless difference actually means to their bottom line. We know that both solutions are equally accurate for gathering PC and physical server energy data. Beyond that, the benefits and capabilities of the agentless solution outshine agent based in every area.

Agent Based energy management solutions require that software be installed on every device to measure the energy from it. For example, to measure and report the energy from a PC, an agent based solution would have to be installed on that PC. Then you can query the software and it would return the energy usage of the device.  Since the only devices you can realistically install monitoring software on are PCs and servers, NO agent based energy management solution is able to measure, monitor or manage the full scope of your enterprise’s devices.

In most companies, servers and PCs are only 50% - 70% of their IT infrastructure. You can’t load software on the peripheral equipment, such as switches, routers, wireless access points, and printers; therefore you have no ability to get energy data using a software agent.  With the JEM agentless energy management approach, these barriers don’t exist.

Agent Based Devices Managed:

JouleX Energy Manager Devices Managed:


  • PCs
  • Physical Servers
 
  • PCs
  • Macs
  • Thin clients
  • Servers
    • Physical
    • Virtual
  • VoIP phones
  • Monitors
  • Printers
  • Copiers
  • Scanners
  • Network switches and routers
  • Wireless access points
  • Heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and lighting systems
  • And more

Even if agent based solutions could be installed on every peripheral device in an enterprise, there are other significant challenges to that approach.

  • COST- It costs time and money to install and manage agents on every desktop.  If, for example, your company has 50,000 PCs in its environment, the costs grow exponentially. Consider the amount of time (X 50,000) to:
    • Download and install
    • Deploy and test
    • Monitor and measure
    • Patch and update
    • Upgrade
  • SECURITY– An agent requires software to run in a privileged mode. If there is a vulnerability or problem with the agent itself, the machine is exposed to additional security vulnerability, whereas the agentless approach uses the existing supported Operating System based metrics. This means, the system is not unnecessarily exposed to additional security vulnerabilities.
  • DEVICE SUPPORT – By leveraging that core operating system functionality, with the agentless approach, tracking agent and operating system releases and hardware releases is not necessary.
  • DISCOVERY – The JEM agentless system collects an inventory of all assets that are drawing energy on your network. Basically that means “it just works.”  There is no guess work or double checking to ensure that none of the machines are overlooked or forgotten.

One last, but key, distinction between the agentless and agent based solutions is this: Agent based software uses additional energy on every single device it’s installed on, increasing the very costs your company is trying to measure, monitor, and control. 

When you look beyond the surface it's plain that these solutions are only similar in name, but not in capabilities and effectiveness for the enerprise.

For more information, read: Questions Answered about Agentless vs Agent Based

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

Japanese People Unite to Conserve Energy

 

Since the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan, and caused the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, the Japanese people have become unified in their passion for conservation of energy.  According to an article in the New York Times, individuals and businesses alike are striving to keep energy usage to minimal levels in order to avoid the rolling blackouts common in the weeks following March 11th

The rest of the world could learn so much from the Japanese about being disciplined in saving energy.  From keeping their home temperatures set a little higher to keeping the lights turned off unless you need them, it’s clear that millions of people doing small things in their daily lives can add up to make a huge difference.

Josef Brunner, the Chief Architect here at JouleX, returned from a recent trip to Japan inspired by how the people have made energy conservation into a part of everyday life. When speaking about his trip, Josef said that what he saw in Japan made him even happier about our commitment to donate 30% of JouleX K.K.’s profits through the end of the fiscal year to the Japanese Red Cross relief efforts.  

Photos by Josef Brunner
save energy1 japansaveenergy1 
 japansaveenergy2  japansaveenergy4

Josef also stressed how proud he is that JouleX is playing an increasingly important part in saving energy in the facilities space in addition to the IT industry.  As energy concerns continue to grow in Asia, especially in China and India, JouleX is poised to lead the way in sustainability for the facilities and IT management of corporations all over the world.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the JouleX IT Blog. We hope you'll join us on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed!  We look forward to joining you in the Green IT conversation!

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