Meg Whitman, CEO of HP, stated, “If the cloud were an independent county, it would rate number five in energy use. China is number one, the US is number two, Russia is number three, India is number four and the cloud is number five, and Japan is sixth”
See Meg Whitman: Moonshot servers will solve datacenter power and cost crisis.
She was speaking about making HP the GoTo supplier of IT for all those millions of servers that will be installed in the cloud. That’s good. It is much more efficient to have gazillions of servers more or less fully loaded and doing lots of work than having hundreds of gazillions of PCs all thinking they are super-computers and wasting much more power per tweak of information. What she didn’t say, I will.
The cost of running each PC on the planet with that other OS is twice the cost of material, energy, bulk, and human energy than using a proper OS designed from the beginning to work for users rather than for M$. Think of it. Meg Whitman has HP working on hardware to make data-transfers more efficient amongst CPU, memory and storage/network, but if you cut out M$’s crumby OS, you could cut the polishing of bits in half again because one does not need to read every file and packet multiple times to keep out malware and to please Hollywood and other “partners” of M$. Whatever it costs to run IT, wasting half of it is just foolish.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out Intel CPUs which cost twice what ARMed CPUs cost.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out having to buy a new PC every few years to handle the bloat. You can keep your PC twice as long, three times if it’s a thin client. This not only saves money but keeps the cost of material lower and saves the planet’s resources for future generations.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out hard drives, because the OS can run on the server, or be transferred to the client at boot. This is how many thin clients operate. This saves about a third of the cost of a PC and the power to run the hard drive and the cost of polishing its bits of malware.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out most of the re-re-reboots which, I figure, cost about $1 each if your time is worth money.
- If you don’t run that other OS, you can cut out waiting on all kinds of stuff while that other OS is working for M$ and partners instead of you.
Meg Whitman also said, “This computing architecture is just inefficient. Ninety percent of the energy used in computing is spent just moving data from a processor to memory to storage and back again. It’s slow and it wastes a lot of memory”. She’s got the future in her sites but we can get halfway their today by adopting FLOSS instead of that other stuff.
Run Debian GNU/Linux, an operating system created by users for users, not M$’s accountants. Use thin clients, too, so all that data can stay on the server where it belongs. There, I feel better…