Even though the leaves have fallen and there is a feel of winter in the air, there seems to be a lot of green around — and it is not just in the evergreen boughs on your mantle, but rather it is in the drumbeat of change for business and society.
Concerns about the environment have not been at this fever pitch since the 1960’s. Simply put, green has become red hot.
And with the steady demand for green action on the part of corporations as well as governments, it is no surprise that organizations turn to information technology (IT) providers, like EDS, to address many of the issues surrounding their need to “go green”.
To help corporations and governments kick-off the new year right, the EDS Fellows have highlighted eight ways CIO’s can extend the life of existing facilities and reduce the environmental impact of computing in 2008.
1. Virtualize Servers.
The first option is to move from the “one application – one server”
paradigm many organizations have fallen into. Server virtualization
allows multiple applications to operate securely within the same
physical server. Moving the current average server utilization from
15-20 percent to 80-90 percent allows fewer servers to do more work
using the same energy profile.
2. Turn off Unused Servers.
The easiest power to save is the power that isn’t used. Servers and
disk drives should be on only when they are needed, so sophisticated
operating processes must be in place to bring servers back online
whenever increased demands require them to do so.
3. Employ Power Saving Techniques.
The third option is to employ power saving techniques now familiar to
most laptop users. When demand allows it, organizations can run their
servers at reduced speed which lessens their consumption of energy.
In addition, an enterprise should always choose a server with the
highest power supply efficiency available with the selected
4. Optimize Applications.
The fourth option is to optimize applications being run in the data
center. Bloated software, inefficient software, or even software that
produces very little business value all need to be pruned, optimized
and even discontinued to put a lesser load on servers.
5. Perform Rigorous Maintenance.
The fifth option is more fundamental, but also very achievable. Data
center managers can improve the efficiency of their facilities by
rigorous maintenance to ensure all equipment is operating at the peak
of efficiency as well as modifying layout and configuration of
equipment to reduce cooling requirements. These and many more
efficiency steps will increase overall data center efficiency and
lower the carbon footprint.
6. Move to Higher Density, Multi-Core CPUs.
The movement to newer, multi-core CPU designs will deliver
significant efficiencies, because of their lower voltage
requirements. Eight, 16, 24 and higher “processors on a chip” allow
for fewer server blades in a rack driving up efficiencies and driving
down electricity usage.
7. Pay More Attention to Operating the Infrastructure.
We have become so accustomed to “cheap computing” that we have become
lax in our process of procuring, deploying and operating the
infrastructure upon which so much of our modern society depends.
However, when an enterprise looks at total cost of ownership and
electricity costs exceed the purchase price of a server, the equation
shifts in favor of higher efficiency and rigor which is good for the
bottom line as well as for the environment.
8. Cash in on Being Green.
It is important to look for innovative applications of IT that makes
real impacts for an enterprise and its customers. For example, an
enterprise can use Dimmable Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) in
electronic ballasts networked to sophisticated lighting control
software that reduces electrical usage by up to 40 percent, or use
programmable thermostats and schedules to standardize the
temperature, pressure, humidity and set points for occupied and
unoccupied periods in all buildings. These technologies require
integrated IT to function and provide a rapid return on investment.
The world will see an explosion of IT being deployed as we move to a
lower energy regime in new and existing buildings throughout society
over the next several years. The business advantage of consuming less
electricity reduces both the cost structure and carbon footprint of
the enterprise, which is good for business and the planet.