Throughout the history of the IT infrastructure, the primary focus has been on the technology: bigger, better, faster, more reliable. While this is still the case and always will be to a large degree, another driving factor for IT professionals, hardware manufacturers, and software engineers is “thinking green”. What does it mean to think green? Thinking green is simply protecting the environment. You might ask how this correlates to the IT industry? Let me share some alarming facts that most may not be aware of:
- The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) estimates that the world’s server rooms consume so much electricity that it’s equal to 26 full-production coal mines.
- Roughly 50% of that energy is from equipment that is not utilized but rather left on because “we don’t know what it does” or “we need it around for some reason”.
- For the small and medium sized business markets, 30 to 70% of a business’s energy consumption is spent on powering and cooling server rooms and other various equipment.
- The NRDC also estimates that a business with ~10 underutilized servers can save more than ~$100,000 over 5 years in energy consumption, hardware and software costs, and maintenance costs by implementing a hybrid virtual / cloud infrastructure.
As you can see from above, it’s no secret that energy consumption by the electronics required to do business in the modern world is both costly, wasteful, and harmful to the environment. Given that’s the case, what can an organization do to help reduce costs internally as well as help reduce the global carbon footprint?
- Take advantage of server and desktop virtualization. Virtualization eliminates hardware from the environment and runs entire infrastructures with less equipment than a traditional setting.
- Virtualization is less hardware costs
- Less hardware = less energy = smaller carbon footprint = more money saved for the company in energy costs
- If implementing server hardware, utilize both hardware and software “low power modes” that can disabled certain aspects of the environment when not in use, this saves energy.
- Wake-on-LAN computing and power save modes at the desktop – end user level. The technology has been around for years, but is seldom used on a large scale in most organizations.
- Smart Switching. Many of today’s switch manufacturers are offering port-based, scheduled, power management options to shut down power to switch ports during non-business hours.
- Re-evaluating just how cool your server room needs to be. For example, adjust the cooling temperature of your server room per the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommendations. Most server rooms are overcooled, which wastes energy.
- Lastly, migrate applications and services to “The Cloud”. Cloud computing is quickly becoming commonplace and with services such as Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and other various hosting platforms. Those coupled with the seemingly endless migration partners and tools to get you there, it is quickly becoming one of the easiest and most efficient ways to achieve a more Green environment for your company.
In conclusion, becoming a “Green IT Company” is more important now than it has ever been. There are significant gains to be had on both the savings end for the company and a cleaner environment for everyone else. GadellNet is an industry leader for cloud migration at all levels, from a small 5 person shop using Quickbooks and email to a 300 user nationwide organization with Microsoft Exchange and 40 servers in a datacenter. Give us a call and we will be happy to help you become more GREEN!
GadellNet is an award-winning IT consulting firm that provides full-service technology solutions to small businesses. Since 2003, we have been delivering efficient, profitable and happier workforces. GadellNet’s best-in-class engineering team is highly successful at implementing and maintaining value-add hardware and software technology.