Thursday, January 11, 2007

Parallel Processes Unprofitable

We are starting to see articles that explain why green IT really is profitable. There seems to be a simple underlying meme in all of these pieces - parallel systems are out, and serial systems are in.

For example, let's look at virtualization, which is going to be included in Linux's core shortly. Before virtualization, we had a lot of boxes running separately. So, taken as a whole system, your IT hardware was running in parallel; if a single box went down, most of the other stuff would still work. Virtualization turns this on its head by putting everything on a single box and running it serially. One point of failure but more efficient, between 25 and 50 percent more efficient.

Or take a look at the fax. Many want it axed out of the budget. Why? Because it is a parallel process that could almost be replaced (except for that signature thing) with a scanner, email, and a printer. It also relies on that paper data stream which is parallel to the digital one. Despite vehement arguments to knock it off, it looks like its going to pester us for a while. But it's an expensive parallel thing to have around.

If you are looking for ways to save money with your IT infrastructure, look for ways to turn parallel processes into serial ones. It could be as simple as buying swivel monitors so that both the employee and the customer and see what they are working on. Because if you're running in parallel, you're probably going sideways.

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