Sustainability and the Telecoms Industry

Tony Chan

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At least two big IT names, IBM and Cisco, will be headlining a trial by Dutch utility, Nuon, to put in a smart grid for 500 homes in Amsterdam. As part of the trial, 500 households in Amsterdam will get smart meters and home energy management solutions to optimise their energy usage. The pilot is being implemented by a consortium of organisations, including housing corporations Far West and Ymere, Amsterdamse Innovatie Motor, Home Automation Europe, ROC Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam and Grid Operator Liander. The pilot, a part of the Amsterdam Smart City initiative, is co-funded by the European Fund for Regional Development. “Now that more than half of the global population lives in cities, we need to acknowledge that achieving a sustainable future lies in our urban centers,” said Guido Bartels, General Manager of IBM’s Global Energy & Utilities industry. “... (more)

The First Smart Grid Controversy?

Like any new technology, the emergence of smart grids has not managed to avoid some kind of controversy. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the technology per se, but all the benefits of a smart grid and smart meter deployment is enabling a new set of business models (read charging models) that not everyone is happy about. According to this article in the Boston Globe and nicely summarized in this blog post by EcoEquilibrium, one US utility’s proposed pricing plan is hitting some raw nerves with both users and commentators. On paper, the suggested pricing plan sounds ex... (more)

Orion, GE Smart Grid Deal Shows Disconnect Between Telco and Utility Nets

New Zealand electricity distribution network operator, Orion, has reportedly began a smart grid implementation with a solution from GE Energy. The project, claimed to be the first in the country, will deploy GE’s ENMAC Distribution Management System, which will help Orion monitor the distribution grid and give operators an accurate, real-time picture of power flow, trouble spots and potential workarounds for outages. The project is expected to be finished by mid-2010, and support Orion’s network covering 8,000 kilometres and 190,000 homes. “Finding proven ways to improve reliabil... (more)

Fujitsu Aims to Combine Cloud with Telecoms

I wrote an article recently for CommsDay International on Fujitsu’s plans to launch a global cloud initiative. Fujitsu, like other technology vendors, Sun and Microsoft, is also getting into the cloud business with its own data centre facilities and even multi-tier cloud offering. The move makes sense, since Fujitsu is already a global services company providing IT outsourcing services to its customers. At the same time, the strategy fits quite nicely with the Japanese government’s plan to build a massive cloud infrastructure, called tentatively the Kasumigaseki Cloud, to suppor... (more)

Measuring the Savings of Data Deduplication

Storage management and disaster recovery software maker, Acronis, has unveiled a new online calculator that measures the potential cost savings of applying its data deduplication technology. The deduplication calculator works by prompting users for the number of servers and workstations being backed up, the data change rate, and the cost of data storage and then using that information to estimate the storage space savings, the storage cost savings, and the percentage of savings through deduplication. According to Acronis, a company with 10 servers and 2 TB of data that changes ... (more)