Written by: Michael Harding Sr., Product Marketing Manager
The world is recognizing that data centers are big users of energy, and many corporations are now dealing with a crisis in power usage, power cost, or both.
A Gartner group survey found 70 percent of CIOs are concerned about power and cooling. In addition, Gartner expects energy-related IT spending to double in the next five years. That means half your IT hardware investment may be associated with energy, heating, and cooling. If it isn't already, Green IT will be an important topic in 2008.
There's a wealth of information on green or sustainable computing available from many sources. It's difficult to know where to start, but one good approach is to evaluate each option in terms of its immediacy and impact.
Here are four major approaches you can take to 'green' your IT effort. They are not mutually exclusive. You might start with the low-hanging fruit that you can execute on today, and lead up to the more capital-intensive options that deliver longer-term benefits.
Four major approaches to Greener IT
For the data centers you choose to run yourself, it might make sense to hire an engineering firm that can help you improve airflow management, electrical infrastructure and other facility elements. Consultants employ computer fluid dynamics models to optimize chilled air throughput and minimize hot spots. Rack schemes can be changed to accommodate 'hot' and 'cold' aisles, and physical plant changes can be made to address static pressure and condensation. This is typically a multi-year program, relatively expensive, and will most likely incur downtime to the data center operations. Ideally you should combine major data center improvements with physical data center migrations.
All of the approaches discussed here complement and build upon each other. Start down the path to a greener IT effort today, and realize the benefits of power conservation, server and storage efficiency, and sustainable computing.
How software can help you take a lead role within your company to reduce energy requirements
Types of software that reduce energy needs include virtualization, automated storage tiering, data de-duplication, clustering, advanced workload management, and desktop management.
The right software can provide multiple benefits when it comes to reducing energy use as well as costs. First, it can reduce hardware requirements, and the related energy consumption. This in turn reduces the heat in the data center, and the load on your HVAC systems. Finally, you'll realize labor and maintenance cost savings from having less hardware to administer. Let's look at some major categories of software and how they can help you "green" your IT effort.
Classes of Software that deliver Greener IT
Using software is a great approach to greening your IT effort. It can provide fast time-to-value—and a compelling return on investment.
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