When I Grow Up I Wanna Be A . . . Green Data Center Manager?

datacentergeneric1It’s not really the stuff of your childhood dreams — fireman, President, doctor. But IBM, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb., plans to offer a 2-year associate degree for a “first-of-its-kind” green data center management program. IBM’s providing the servers, software and online training tools, and the partners also plan to offer a version of the program online to other colleges.

So what fun classes do aspiring green data center gurus get to take? Try topics like “Hardware, Disaster Recovery, & Troubleshooting,” “Virtualization, Remote Access, & Monitoring,” and “Data Center Racks & Cabling.” Ouch, and you thought Econ 1A was bad. Try studying up on “fault-tolerant, redundant configurations for a company’s Disaster Recovery (DRP),” while nursing a hangover.

Kidding aside, it’s an interesting program in that it shows how important the idea of making data centers more energy-efficient is becoming for the IT industry. As Clint Wheelock pointed out in a report on GigaOM Pro (subscription required) this morning, the energy consumed by information and communication technologies (Internet, computing, mobile phones) accounts for 2 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but these sectors have the ability to produce a potential 15 percent reduction in overall world greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. And it’s execs coming out of degree programs like this that will lead the way.


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