Apr 15, 2008

Dev/Test Environments in the Garden State

Last week, I spent a couple of days in New Jersey talking with some customers about their dev/test environments. One customer has a very large dev/test environment (1000's of servers) covering every UNIX platform that has been shipped this decade. You name, they got it. They even have some of those high-end, fault-tolerant systems that you only associate with the trading floor of a stock exchange.

Even though this customer was located in rural New Jersey (and I mean rural), they're experiencing some of the same things our West Coast customers are seeing:
  • They have a large dev/test environment with servers that are used for QA, performance testing, build systems, and replicating typical customer environments.
  • On average, their systems can be idle 30%-50% during non-business hours, but their utilization is much higher during business hours.
  • They have negotiated a pretty good discount with their local utility, but electricity is still $0.12/kWh. In another month, their rate is increasing to $0.14/kWh.
  • During the summer, the price will increase due to increased seasonal demand from all those air conditioners.
During our meeting, I spoke with the CIO, their facilities guy, and management from IT infrastructure and IT applications. This customer was interested in using Cassatt Active Response product to manage their operating costs by power-manging their dev/test environment. Our policy-based solutions for power management resonated with the CIO and her management. The applications folks were happy that we provide different levels of user access so that each team can manage the policies for their hardware resources. The facilities guy was quite pleased with our reports that show the cost savings and power usage in their environment. At the end of the meeting, he said "This is a beautiful thing for us." (And I kid you not, those were his exact words.)

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