Dell points to 'hidden data centres'

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Data centres are in desperate need of upgrades and automation and doing so could reveal hidden clusters of computing power, according to Dell chief executive Michael Dell..

Dell warned in his keynote to delegates at Oracle OpenWorld that data centres are too often crippled by bad management and poor technology.

This could not be allowed to continue, he argued, as the power and storage demands of IT are reaching crisis point.

"I cannot help but think as I walk into a data centre how many hidden data centres we would find if it was run properly," said Dell.

"As you scale up your data centre, we want you to be able to find hidden data centres that you have missed. Virtualisation holds a lot of promise for this."

Dell explained that many data centres are not using their resources effectively. The resultant power unleashed if operations were optimised could amount almost to a new data centre that had been "hidden".

Dell warned that the IT industry is facing a crisis. Analysts believe that the industry is already generating more data than it can store, and that data loads will increase six-fold by 2011.

Power use is also out of control, according to Dell. Research has shown that 1.5 per cent of US power use is down to servers, and that many will fail in the future because of power outages or brownouts.

"Gartner is predicting that the future is brown, but that is unacceptable," said Dell. " The future is green."

Dell has promised to release a 'Greenprint' reference architecture which would be used to calculate the "greenness" of a business and provide a framework for cutting costs and increasing efficiency though the better use of hardware and software.

"For peak efficiency you need to standardise, consolidate and automate, and use virtualisation wherever possible," said Mark Sunday, chief information officer at Oracle.

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