The human race is facing what may turn out to be an existential threat due to entrenched practices that are contributing to climate change. This talk addresses the impact of information technology (IT) in this regard. Today, estimates show that data centers consume about 2% of the total electricity produced in the developed world. This consumption is predicted to grow, and by the end of this decade will reach about 10% not including the consumption at the end points or in the network infrastructure. This trend is not contributing positively toward efforts that aim at a more sustainable future. Therefore, a fundamental paradigm shift is needed in the way we develop, deploy and even use information technology. The talk outlines how the current trends in IT are leading us in the wrong direction, and what can be done about it.
Bio: E.N. (Mootaz) Elnozahy is a Professor of Computer Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where he previously served as special advisor to the president and dean of the Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE). Before joining KAUST in 2012, he spent 15 years at IBM Research where he was a Senior Manager and a Master Inventor, concurrently with being an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Before IBM, he was a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests include computing systems, and he has published in the areas of reliable computers, lower-power computing and performance. He also holds 58 patents covering these areas. His research accomplishments include fundamental theoretical and practical work in distributed system reliability, prototyping the first ever low-power server, and leading the effort of the PERCS high performance computing system (known commercially as POWER-7 IH), which broke new grounds in system performance. Dr. Elnozahy is a Fellow of the IEEE and was elected by peers as chair of the IEEE technical committee on dependable computing and chair of the IFIP 10.4 Working Group on Dependability. He received the Trailblazer award from the University of Texas, and several awards from IBM including Master Inventor for life, Outstanding Technical Achievement Award (twice) and IBM President Award. Dr. Elnozahy obtained the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Rice University in 1990 and 1993, respectively.