Bull has announced a Green IT strategy called Bio Data Center™, how does your activity fit into that?
The Bio Data Center provides solutions, tools, processes and services to improve the energy efficiency of data centers and reduce their carbon footprint. Bull builds Enterprise Servers that are the backbone of the Bio Data Center, and is committed to deliver servers and solutions that reduce energy consumption. We manage this creation process with our Green Life-Cycle, taking “cradle to grave” responsibility for our products.
I should add that we have the same concerns as our customers. In addition to being a producer, we are also a consumer and a citizen. That is, we work on making energy efficient products and at the same time on reducing our own carbon footprint.
How do you include Green specifications in your products?
We have put in place a Green Life-Cycle that starts at the conception of a product. Bull makes choices to use components that consume less energy and adhere to strict standards for the components, such as ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances, compliant since 2006) for example. Bull’s latest innovation, the mobull™ container, our ‘plug and boot’ Data Center is the best example of our green involvement; it enables a high density infrastructure to be rapidly deployed, anywhere in the world…
Also Bull’s R&D assures a “green” technology watch and works closely with our suppliers to provide the technologies required by our customers. For example, Bull is the European speaker for Climate Savers, the group initially responsible for Energy Star certification. We also contribute actively to the European Code of Conduct for Data Centers committee; as well as to the Green Grid, and the EMEA technical committee.
Has Bull designed any servers using all of these principles?
Absolutely. A major goal for Bull when designing and manufacturing its servers is to reduce their energy consumption, and we are very excited about it. This semester, we will announce a new Enterprise Server designed by Bull engineers to help customers consolidate safely their mission-critical applications. This system will incorporate the latest Green technologies. This new server will provide 3 times better performance per watt than existing comparable systems, thanks to Bull-specific green features and a design optimized to reduce electricity consumption in a virtualization environment. Also, this server, developed end-to-end by Bull, is designed, developed and produced in Europe, thereby significantly reducing the carbon foot-print of the product’s life cycle.
How have you reduced the carbon footprint of your product development?
As a producer, the key stage in our Green Life-Cycle is Bull’s Industrial and Logistics Services in Angers. We created a carbon-compensated supply chain, with an objective of reducing its carbon footprint by 30%. We concentrated on three axes; quality, security and environmental, for which it has obtained the appropriate standards, and most specifically for the Environment (ISO 14001) held since 2001.
But product development isn’t everything, what about data center efficiency?
You’re right. That’s where software plays a fundamental role. To make the most of the data center infrastructure, we have created state-of-the art software solutions that manage the infrastructure (BSM), performance (BPR), power (BSM), capacity (POD) and availability (ARF). Thanks to these tools, Bull’s customers can have the most efficient data-centers possible while guaranteeing the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) they have promised to their own customers.
Bull’s customers often have existing data centers, that need to be upgraded, how can you help with that?
Bull has several decades of experience designing large data centers. We are transmitting this experience into hundreds of concrete proposals of consolidation and/or virtualization of servers for our customers’ data centers, the first step in creating an energy efficient data center.
To accompany our customers one step further, Bull offers several levels of IT Energy Audits, working together with partner APC Schneider. These audits assess the IT energy efficiency as a whole, and develop a strategic end-to-end plan to reduce energy consumption while maintaining service quality and guaranteeing SLAs.
Once the hardware is in place, it’s time to assess the servers efficiency. Bull is offering Infrastructure Advisory Services, based on an industrial methodology and set of tools, to help customers optimize their data centers for most efficient servers use and storage.
And once they upgrade their data centers, what do they do with their old machines?
As requirements change, and hardware becomes obsolete, Bull continues the Green Life-Cycle by assuring the correct recycling of the hardware. Bull’s green assessment today is excellent. Bull has been compliant with European recycling standards (WEEE) since 2006, and last year recycled over 50% of delivered products and 90% of packaging material, numbers which increase steadily.
Isn’t Green IT just the latest marketing fashion for computer manufacturers?
Not for Bull. We have integrated Green IT and the Green Life-Cycle as a fundamental part of our corporate policy. The pressure to expand this ecological reflex into every aspect of our business will keep increasing, from within and from without. Human resources are of course at the center of this transformation. This is why we have put in place the leaders, the training and the appropriate communication to achieve this transformation.
Is it possible to see these solutions and to talk to your experts?
Soon, Bull will have a Bio Data Center demo center in Grenoble, available for customer visits and specific demo requests. One example: With the support of our experts, our customers will have the ability to perform Performance/Watt Benchmarks: an exciting new area of research that is just being developed – especially for the large server infrastructures that are our main business.
Bull is ready to start this new Green decade together with its customers and prospects, and we look forward to presenting our Green solutions to you in greater detail or welcoming you to our own Bio Data Center in Grenoble.