The Moonshot program is one step toward a much larger vision, Chandrakant Patel, HP Senior Fellow, Director, HP Sustainable Technology Research told SiliconAngle Founder and CEO John Furrier and Wikibon.org Co-Founder and Chief Analyst David Vellante in a live interview from the announcement site webcast from the SiliconAngle.tv program, theCube. “This is a key steppingstone toward the Net Zero Data Center and using the IT ecosystem to deliver a positive impact from a sustainability perspective while delivering a profit for the company.”
The design and many of the core components of the Redstone low-power server came out of an ongoing program at HP Labs to develop the Net Zero Data Center. This will use multiple sources of renewable power, including wind and solar and perhaps local sources such as bio-gas from manure or even waste heat from exhaust of local manufacturing plants, managed on a micro-grid, to power a highly energy-efficient data center. This, in Dr. Patel’s vision, might be used to manage all the components of a city infrastructure for maximum efficiency and useful life.
“The core concept is to deliver the resources you need when you need them and no more,” he said. “You dynamically allocate resources to shape demand so you are always below power supply. That is a net-zero environment.”
HP Labs has built a comprehensive blueprint of the technical framework that would support this concept. This extends down to details of how the data center would be managed, for instance to adjust air conditioning and power loads to respond to changing demand, and to reoptimize the systems and storage to meet different user needs – real-time versus batch loads, for instance.
Big data plays a major role in this. “You hear about using big data to look at consumer buying patterns,. My view is that it is a huge opportunity to mine structured and unstructured data from the infrastructure to manage physical resources – power, water & waste – at the kilo-scale, for instance across a city.”
His group has instrumented the building they are in to identify anomalies in the building infrastructure and optimize the use of the HVAC and other systems. “Cities are beginning to look at that. People doing maintenance in a city take a lot of unstructured notes. Much of the equipment already tweets their state back to the control center. Why not capture all that and use it to manage that infrastructure to make it last longer and work more efficiently to save power?”
This would create a sort of “Internet of things” that managers would tap into to manage events in real time using an iPad or perhaps an HP laptop with the ability to do real-time analysis. Then all the data would be dumped into the cloud for historical analysis.
Therefore, he said, “You have to take this announcement [of Moonshot and Redstone] in the holistic framework of HP. We all work together not only to design an efficient server but to design that server as a flexible building block so a population of devices can be managed efficiently in a data center and then the data center can be used to manage a city. HP is very rich in engineers who are working together to create the building blocks of the systems of tomorrow that will manage resources at scale.”