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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Intel GM Jeff Klaus Talks Cryptocurrency and How Data Centers Can Tackle the 'Bitcoin Boom'


Cryptocurrency has taken the tech and finance world by storm and continues to take off reaching a milestone valuation of $700 billion.  However, this ‘bitcoin boom' will begin to have a direct impact on several industries and company operations including how data centers will manage this surge in power.  Jeff Klaus, GM of Intel Data Center Management Solutions, believes companies will need to adjust their data center strategy to tackle the impact cryptocurrencies have on power supply head on. 

VMblog:  How is the dramatic increase in cryptocurrencies affecting data centers today?

Jeff Klaus:  In recent years, data centers have been stretched to their capacity due to the rise in cloud and edge computing, creating an increase in power demands all too familiar to data center managers. While cryptocurrency companies only make up a relatively small percent of the data center market - for now - what's shocking is the immense amount of energy cryptocurrency creates for the industry. Understanding the potential energy demands of the growing cryptocurrency industry must stay top of mind for data centers manager as they recognize the need for high performance hardware to solve computational algorithms at a high-speed with accuracy and efficiency.

VMblog:  How do data center's strategies need to shift to take on this heightened workload?

Klaus:  The realization that blockchain could one day become a more prominent technology has led data center operators to rethink their strategies and invest in advanced tools to help manage energy usage. With bitcoin alone forecasted to use as much electricity as the whole of the United States by the summer of 2019, it's in their best interest to invest in optimizing existing servers rather than adding more out of fear of cryptocurrency's power demand. In order to do this, data center managers need access to granular data that allows real-time power and thermal monitoring as well as health monitoring and utilization. Not only will data centers be equipped to handle the power cryptocurrency demands with these insights, but this will also shift the overall strategy by prioritizing performance quality first versus server quantity.

VMblog:  Are there green alternatives to offset cryptocurrency's high energy demand?

Klaus:  While cryptocurrency energy demands may cause some to worry, an increased focus on cleaner operations will encourage data centers to turn to renewable energy sources to keep up with power demands. Beyond having a clear understanding of energy usage and leveraging data to achieve power optimization, cryptocurrency is spurring the creation of energy conscious mining companies. For example, Standard American Mining teamed up with a tire "thermal demanufacturing" company, PRTI, to burn old tires as an energy source creating the world's first waste-to-energy cryptomine. While others may look to different alternatives like solar panels or immersion cooling, it's clear that green alternatives are the on their way to becoming the new industry standard.

VMblog:  Even with Bitcoin's growing popularity, there is still hesitancy when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption and integration.  What do you think the future holds for cryptocurrency and what does that mean for data centers?

Klaus:  With the market value of decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin continuing to fluctuate, the future is uncertain. However, investments in blockchain capabilities have created a new system for securely tracking data which we will likely continue to see permeate and overhaul various industries. As the data center industry prepares to facilitate blockchain operations, data centers will be pushed to adapt and innovative much like the industry did with the IoT movement.


About Jeff Klaus

As General Manager of Intel® Data Center Management Solutions, Jeff Klaus leads a global team that designs, builds, sells and supports Data Center Management software solutions through an extensive distribution network. Since joining Intel in 2000, Klaus built and maintains the largest global ecosystem of middleware solutions through Server Hardware OEMs, Software Infrastructure Management Providers and Cloud Service Providers.

As a leader in the Data Center infrastructure industry, his group is responsible for Intel® Virtual Gateway, Intel® Rack Scale Design Manager, Intel® Resource Management Solutions and Intel® Data Center Manager (DCM), the only software that provides real-time, server-level telemetry data and power management across a wide range of data center servers and IT devices.

An active member within the Software Defined Solutions space, Klaus serves on the Board of Directors for the Green IT Council and has presented multiple keynotes at leading industry conferences, including Gartner Data Center, AFCOM's Data Center World, the Green IT Symposium, and the Green Gov Conference. As a thought leader within the DCIM community Klaus regularly contributes articles on key data center topics and trends in Forbes, DataCenter Dynamics, Mission Critical, Data Center Post, IT Business Edge, Data Center Knowledge, Information Management and Data Centre Management. 

Klaus earned his BS in Finance at Boston College and his MBA in Marketing at Boston University.


Published Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7:38 AM by David Marshall
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