It Is Easy Being Green

It Is Easy Being Green

In last month’s issue we looked at why CIOs should be at the fore of an organization’s sustainability efforts

As BT's global head of data centres explained to IDC, a key plank of this strategy is auditing the power consumption of its data centres. BT's three-stage process for reducing emissions includes: rationalization, placing IT activities in the wider context of BT's operations; standardization, to reduce the complexity of its operations; and convergence. "BT, through its 21st century network transformation program, aims to lead the convergence between telecommunications and IT from voice services on PSTN on to data services on IP networks. As well as offering lower cost and a greater range of services, the move to IP networks powers BT's ambitions as an IT service provider to both businesses and consumers," IDC says.

However, even far simpler actions can have dramatic results. Florida-based Seminole Community College expects to save between $US45,000 and $US65,000 a year in power costs by automatically shutting down PCs every night and rebooting them in the morning. As an added bonus, the software from Persystent Technologies that achieves this automatically performs policy updates on PCs after lab hours, preventing the usual productivity disruptions and freeing up the IT budget to purchase additional software licences. The software takes advantage of the Wake-On LAN features of the NICs and PCs. Once it is set in the server, the software issues the commands for shutting down or powering up without any human intervention.

"Our college had an external energy savings evaluation performed last year and one of the recommendations from the consultants resulted in our implementation of the power management of the computers campus-wide," says CIO Dick Hamman.

The Children's Hospital Central California, one of the 10 largest paediatric hospitals in the US, faced increasing costs managing its data centre — cooling, power and space were all critical factors that needed to be brought under control. The hospital has initiated a server consolidation project that leverages virtualization to bring costs in line and reduce server sprawl. Working with Novell partner Novacoast, the hospital has completed its pilot of Novell ZENworks Orchestrator and plans to move forward in production deployment soon.

Virtualization — server consolidation and containment — can help by allowing companies to place multiple workloads on the same server. If CIOs adopt a virtualization strategy, there will be fewer physical servers, which means less space in the data centre, and less electricity and cooling.

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