Early in our research design, we identified aggregators as a significant segment for vendors to pursue. As public clouds gather momentum, we expect significant increase in the number of companies serving enterprise customers with aggregated services. The population of IT budget holders in these aggregators will grow, as will the size of their annual IT budgets. More importantly, the IT management priorities and discipline necessary will help vendors sharpen their product and solution positioning. Aggregators will also provide compelling case studies that enterprise customers will respect.

Arguably the largest aggregator around is Google. Its operations bring together large scale computing, storage and applications to serve consumers and enterprise customers with a growing portfolio of services. Google recently published a report designed to share energy optimisation insights with data centre managers. Googles Green Data Centers: Network POP Case Study Best Practice is pitched to be understandable by technical and business professionals. In this report, Google recommends:

  • Best practice #1 Measuring performance of two distinct energy use patterns i.e. IT equipment energy consumed by servers,storage and networks, and facility overhead energy used by power, cooling and lighting.
  • Best practice #2 Optimizing air flow – preventing hot and cold air from mixing
  • Best practice #3 Turning up the thermostat – raising the temperature from 22C/72F to 27C/81F could save tens of thousands of dollars annually in energy costs. We have discussed this concept earlier when we looked at how Dell addresses data centre resource efficiency with hotter servers.

While the subject of energy efficiency is interesting, we see more instruction in exploring why Google chose to publish this report. It is not targeting the data centre management market. But, by demonstrating its deep expertise in managing data centres, it is creating confidence in its potential customers. Data centre managers are more likely to recommend Google if they respect its management practices. In the same way, vendors have the opportunity to showcase how their products cope in high traffic, high SLA driven aggregator environments. These aggregator testimonials will prove more compelling to enterprise customers than any slick corporate presentations.

Image credit: Janet Leadbeater

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