Is Alquist up to something fishy with your carbon footprint?

Opinion

Is Alquist up to something fishy with your carbon footprint?

Aqua-Sheko-fish-pedicure.jpgHere's the latest fashionable foot treatment in London's Soho. A pedicure by hundreds of hungry fish. Isn't it time we did something similar to our carbon footprints? Andrew Jones of Alquist thinks so.

There's this specialist massage joint in Soho where they use animals to give you a manicure. Come on, there's nothing sordid about using fish to make you feel sexy. You know how highly sensitive your extremities are, don't you? Well what could be more romantic than having thousands of tiny swimmers nibbling away your your tarsals? Phwoarr!
In a 30-minute fish manicure treatment (£27) your feet are submerged in a tank. In this time, hundreds of tiny Garra rufa fish will gently exfoliate your delicate digits with their tickly teeth. Aqua Sheko is famous in Soho for these fish pedicures.
This, in a way, is a fishy metaphor for what needs to be done in the nation's data centres. We desperately need to eat away at IT's massive footprint. But it needs co-operation and team work to save power.
"Energy efficiency is not about making one big change, but thousands of little changes," says Andrew Jones, founder of Cambridge based IT consultancy Alquist. We all need to nibble away and do our bit. But who is showing us the way?
Jones' company Alquist has invented a way to map out the temperature variations across and entire data hall, to an impressive level of detail. Most management systems give you a rough picture of the data centre. Alquist, in comparison, gives you a high definition picture. Amazingly, the system Alquist uses to create this sensitive temperature monitoring grid using fibre optics. Not as a networking conduit, but as a series of tiny sensors. How? We shall come back to Alquist for more details.

This was first published in January 2011

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