Modernizing Enterprise Data Centers for Fun and Profit


Length: 6 weeks

Instructor: Jonathan Koomey, Ph.D.

Subjects: Other Technology: Data Centers, Other Technology: Business


This is a unique opportunity to spend six weeks learning from Jonathan Koomey, a Research Fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University and one of the foremost international experts on data center energy use, efficiency, organization, and management.

This course provides a road map for managers, directors, and senior directors in Technology Business Management (TBM), drawing upon real-world experiences from industry-leading companies like eBay and Google. The course is designed to help transform enterprise IT into a cost-reducing profit center by mapping the costs and performance of IT in terms of business key performance indicators (KPIs).

Participants in this course will gain access to templates and best practices used by leaders in data center optimization and performance. These templates will be used to complete a capstone project, which will propose management changes to help increase business agility, reduce costs, and move internal IT organization from being a cost center to a profit center.

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Learn From An Industry Expert

Dr. Jon Koomey is the author or coauthor of nine books and more than two hundred articles and reports on energy efficiency and supply-side power technologies, energy economics, energy policy, environmental externalities, and global climate change. He's a leading thinker on data center technology and optimization, and he'll be available to answer all of your questions as you work through the course.

Group Discounts Available

For corporate, non-profit, or government group discounted rates, please contact Tom McCormack at

Self-Paced Online Course

You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. The course will not officially begin until the scheduled start date, but students are encouraged to work ahead when possible.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible for as long as the course is offered on the marketplace, with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn a Certificate of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our one-click LinkedIn integration.

Earn Continuing Education Credits

Self Report with Certificate: 10 AIA LU Credits

Dr. Koomey gave one of the most information-packed and compelling keynote sessions we've had at The Data Warehousing Institute for many years.

- Dave Wells, Former Director of Education, TDWI


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Jonathan Koomey, Ph.D.

Jonathan Koomey is a Research Fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. He has also held visiting professorships at Yale University (Fall 2009), Stanford University (2003-4 and Fall 2008), and the University of California, Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group (Fall 2011), and was a Lecturer in Management at Stanford’s...[more]

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Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can complete the material whenever is convenient and work ahead or catch up if you fall behind. The course discussion board is a great place to interact with other students and ask questions. Expect to dedicate a minimum of 5 hours per week to the course. Course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Typically access is extended for much longer. Your instructor will be in the course and participating in the discussion during the posted session dates. Please review the orientation materials and introduce yourself on the discussion board.

Week 1 - Enterprise IT: Cost Center or Profit Center?

We'll get to the point very quickly in week 1: All modern enterprises are driven by IT. If you think IT is a cost center, as most organizations do, you’ve already lost the battle. IT should be a cost-reducing profit center. Transforming IT can transform your business, and we'll continue to explore how by examining the basics of energy, power, and costs in enterprise data centers. Power and energy drive costs in modern data centers, and most equipment in enterprise data centers has very low (5-15%) utilization.

Week 2 - Metrics, Measurement, and Decision Making

In week two we present solutions and strategies to transform the organization. We'll provide a foundation in the science of measurement. What to measure, how to do it? We'll tie technical metrics to business KPIs.

Week 3 - Mapping IT Costs and Performance onto the Business

This week we will begin to assess costs and effectiveness at the business unit and project level to allows for accountability and more rapid learning. We'll make the case to move from "sit down" to "buffet style" provisioning of computing to reduce needless variability in hardware, keep standard server configurations on the shelf, and improve lead time from months to weeks.

Week 4 - Moving Internal Computing Needs to an Internal Cloud + Managing Existing Facilities

In Week 4 we will provide more strategies and techniques to transform Enterprise IT into a profit center. Developing an internal cloud means using standardized hardware and can improve lead time from weeks to seconds and represents a key step for increasing business agility. Just measuring technical aspects of your existing facilities isn’t enough. We advocate and explain the need to model data centers throughout their life cycle, using sophisticated computer tools, to simulate the effects of proposed changes on costs, reliability, and energy use.

Week 5 - Importance of Organizational Structure and Incentives + Approaching Organizational Transformation

The course closes with tangible next steps. Most organizations have split incentives (IT buys computers, facilities pays electric bills). Most organizations have split authority (separate bosses for IT and facilities), so nobody thinks about the whole system, and the company suffers for it. For substantive improvements to take hold, organizations need high level management buy in and a champion to organize enterprise IT under one leader, consolidate budgets and bring teams together so they always consider effects of changes on the whole system.

Week 6 - Working on Your Capstone Project

This week you’ll apply what you’ve learned in the class to solve real business problems. Ideally you’d develop a plan for your current company to increase profits from your information technology investments. As a first step, you can investigate particular constraints and summarize how they inhibit your company from moving forward. Then you can propose a plan for removing those constraints.

After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course, request a certificate of completion, and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year). Typically access is extended for much longer without any action needed. If access is removed, contact us for an extension. Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. Let us know what you do next and how we can help.

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