Green IT: 8 Tips for 2008

Now that green is red hot, EDS clues you in on how to reduce the impact of your computing in the coming year.

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 not just in the evergreen boughs on your mantle or the misletoe overhead, but also in the minds and hearts of the worldwide business community. It is no exaggeration to say that "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, information technology outsourcing industry founder and global solutions provider EDS has tapped some of its brightest minds to highlight eight ways CIOs 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 configuration.

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.

Learn more about EDS' environmental sustainability successes at http://www.eds.com/about/corporate/environmental/index.aspx.


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