National Australia Bank (NAB), one of Australia’s big four banks, has detailed how changes to its
data centres helped the organisation to become carbon neutral in a white paper (PDF) issued
by the Open Data Center Alliance. The bank says it has been carbon neutral since 2010, thanks
in large part to work on its data centres, which account for 43% of all energy it consumes.
A private cloud is also important to the Bank’s efforts, and while the White Paper doesn’t
say just whose virtualisation or private cloud kit NAB uses, Oracle is named. It seems more
likely, however, that IBM is running the show and providing servers as the document points
out that “NAB is outsourcing the management of most of the company’s physical data center
infrastructure to IBM.”
Tim Palmer, Senior Manager, Data Centre Transformation at NAB says in the paper that this
arrangement means “it is now up to IBM to try and be as efficient as they can. It’s in their best
interests to increase efficiency, reduce the physical footprint of their server space, and thus
reduce their operating cost and carbon footprint.”
But Palmer also says, in the white paper, that technology alone won’t deliver.
“You have to make this message personal for everyone,” he says. “Let them know that
they are part of the process. Business units need to understand the cost of requesting test
environments, for example, and need to apply due diligence to reducing their impact as much
as possible. We’re looking for behavioral change. People need to internalize this message
at work every day. The most effective strategy has been applying transparency to the costs
generated by each business unit, providing them and their staff with continual, positive
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