SHARE opened today with a keynote presentation by Miles O’Brien, former CNN technology reporter. Miles took some good-natured jabs at CNN’s decision to disband its technology department and continue to focus on non-issues such as Britney Spear’s soap opera life. He was genuinely fun to listen to.
Miles admitted to being a history major, depending on asking the right questions of the right people in his Emmy-winning days as a technology reporter. His topic in the keynote speech was “Green Computing: The Good, The Bad and the Future.” True to his statement about depending on the opinions of experts, he played clips from several big names in the IT and energy industry. He told of Google’s off-shore data center plans, of Microsoft’s Siberian data center (which obviously would need little energy spent in cooling), and LS9’s creating biofuel from e. coli.
Considering his audience today (vast majority making their living working in mainframe environments), I was more than surprised that NONE of the experts he consulted suggested consolidating the ever-growing multitude of servers onto many fewer mainframe machines. He hinted at something along those lines in jest (admittedly “playing to the home crowd”), but did not seriously suggest it or anything similar. Seems like that would be something we could do now, while we are waiting for offshore and Siberian data centers to prove themselves worthy, or for the world to switch from fossil fuels to e. coli vomit. I guess Miles was too busy talking to the server guys to consider asking IBM or just about anyone else in the mainframe industry. You’d think that, considering who was sponsoring and attending the conference at which he was speaking, that might have come to mind as something more than a joke.
Still, it was an entertaining and thought-provoking speech. Just too bad Miles missed the one solution that would have made everyone in attendence leave thinking, “This guy gets it.”