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Dan Power

Greetings to all of my friends who work in the area of computerized decision support. This blog is a way for me to share stories from my encounters related to decision support, to comment on industry events, and to comment on other blogger's comments, especially those of my friends on the Business Intelligence Network. I'll try to state my opinions clearly and provide an old professor's perspective on how computers and information technology are changing the world. Decision making has always been my focus, and it will be in this blog as well. Your comments, feedback and questions are welcomed.

About the author >

Daniel J. "Dan" Power is a Professor of Information Systems and Management at the College of Business Administration at the University of Northern Iowa and the editor of DSSResources.com, the Web-based knowledge repository about computerized systems that support decision making; the editor of PlanningSkills.com; and the editor of DSS News, a bi-weekly e-newsletter. Dr. Power's research interests include the design and development of decision support systems and how these systems impact individual and organizational decision behavior.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Dan's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Keeping data for business intelligence and data-driven DSS consumes lots of energy. What is the BI community doing to conserve and use energy efficiently?

"According to energystar.gov, the total annual energy consumption for a typical commercial desktop is 354 kilowatt-hours and being left on in an idle state accounts for 90 percent of that number." Should managers turn off computers at the end of the work day?

"Worldwide, the electricity consumption for data center servers in 2005 was equivalent to 14 power plants ... The energy consumed by data center servers and related infrastructure equipment in the United States and worldwide doubled between 2000 and 2005 ... (McGee, 2007)." Do we need to invest in new technology?

Historical data for business inteligence is growing very fast globally. Our data needs are part of the problem. Recently I toured a medium sized data center. The problem is more than energy inefficient hardware. We need to recycle heat in a data center to use when the outside weather is cold in heated parts of the center. We need to shade cooling units from direct sun and high summertime outside temperatures. We need better insulation in the structures. We need to use energy efficient lighting.

Data Centers consume about 1.5% of all power use in the United States, approximately 60kwh/year. Chris Preimesberger has an article "Green IT Growth" in the July 7, 2008 eWeek. So what does Chris and eWeek recommend?

1) evaluate new servers for power consumption,

2) eliminate unused servers, turn on power management,

3) improve site infrastructure,

4) consolidate servers,

5) use direct liquid cooling when possible.

The BI and data-driven DSS community of users and consultants need to lead the way.


McGee, M. K., "Data Center Energy Consumption Has Doubled Since 2000,"
InformationWeek, February 15, 2007, http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197006210 .

Preimesberger, C., "Green IT Growth," eWeek, July 7, 2008, pp. 42-48, www.eweek.com.

Ramirez, R., "Computer energy consumption explored," Spartan Daily, Issue date: 3/7/07,

Technorati Tags: green BI, Business Intelligence, Decision Support

Posted July 28, 2008 8:56 AM
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