Things that blink, buzz and whir – basically everything that touches the internet - tend to require a great deal of energy to accomplish whatever it is they’re groaning on about. After lighting retrofits, IT represents the largest operational energy savings opportunity, and it’s starting to get increased attention from cash-strapped and environmentally conscious finance, technology and facilities managers. Like most energy saving technology initiatives, reducing the amount of energy consumed by computers, monitors, switches and servers doesn’t have the public relations appeal of flashy
solar panels or wind turbines, but it does come with easily tracked steps to lowering
utility bills and trimming the corporate
carbon footprint down a few sizes.
Here’s an overview of Green IT Solutions:
End Points: The ENERGY STAR program has made it fairly simple to select energy efficient devices, whether it be refrigerators or the jumbo monitors now required by engineering departments who insist their programmers be outfitted with enough gaudy screen space to rival trading desk turrets. Just about every name-brand computer and networking equipment manufacturer has made the effort to produce
ENERGY STAR approved products that perform at the same level as traditional options requiring more energy to operate. Scrapping all existing resources that don’t have an ENERGY STAR label probably isn’t prudent, but as the plumbing of your network infrastructure gradually becomes outdated, it only makes sense to purchase appliances produced with
energy efficiency in mind. It’s one of the few situations where greener purchasing is almost unavoidable.
Control Systems: The rules of automating controls for electronics of all varieties are pretty simple; If it’s not being used, turn down the juice. This applies to lighting, HVAC and IT operations, but inserting intelligent energy management into an IT network is less immediately intuitive than motion sensors and thermostats. There are more moving parts that each serve as particular end-user in a different capacity. Coordinating efforts to ensure computers, monitors, routers, switches, printers, scanners and copiers all play together in a way that minimizes their energy use without sacrificing availability is an emerging niche in the green industry, and GreenTechBuyer is working with several of the leading organizations specializing in on-demand green IT solutions.
Data Centers: Hosting facilities are dotting the countryside worldwide wherever massive warehouses can be constructed with sufficiently hearty access to the utility
grid, public switched telephone network (PSTN), fiber optics and staff capable of making sure everything stays cool and operational. Facility operators are feeling the social and economic squeeze as the march towards a ‘cloud based’ IT architecture continues to eliminate in-house server warehousing, and data centers proportionally increase as a percentage of total IT energy expenditure. Making these energy-sucking monsters more efficient through lighting controls, cooling system upgrades and intelligent equipment selection is one of the most clear examples of the hallowed ‘triple bottom line’ benefits of ‘going green’. Any data center worth its rack space should be well on its way to maximum energy efficiency, because reducing costs will be necessary to compete as options expand for increasingly savvy potential customers.
Corporate CTOs, CIOs, Facility Directors and
Sustainability Officers should be addressing energy efficiency with the same operational imperative as bandwidth requirements and data storage capacity. Green IT solutions are a crucial aspect of running an efficient and socially responsible organization, and technologists who are early in their career would be wise to add a measure of energy auditing expertise to the resume as a marketable skill they bring to the table.
If your organization needs help greening your IT operations, GreenTechBuyer is here to help by matching you with the top companies in the business.