Don’t miss out on a gift to green your data center

Data center efficiency projects such as virtualization, consolidation, power and cooling upgrades all have pretty strong business cases and ROI. The reduction in hardware means lower operating and managing costs for your organization.

Many utilities are now sweetening the deal and offering rebates and incentives that put an extra bang into your business case.  Some of these rebates are paid out per kilowatt hour saved (usually 5 – 11cents per kw) and others are a percentage of the overall project costs (anywhere from 35 – 50% of your project cost paid for) [Read more…]

Virtual and Greener

As all of us in IT know by now, the fastest was to decrease the size of your data center is to virtualize in some way or another.  For those of you who have not yet tried it you need to give it a shot.  For those of you who have some applications virtualized but not all, then take a look at what you are working with to see if you can virtualize even more.

With free basic software versions from VMWare, Microsoft and Citrix there is no reason to not try it out and see what you think.  Before you know it you will start seeing fantastic results in power reduction (and power bills), cooling, and physical space in your data center.  You can use capacity planners to figure out what to virtualize next.  These planners will detail all of the utilization numbers of your existing machines and then tell you what kind of a machine you need to put all your VMs on.

We have been seeing up to a 30 to 1 physical server consolidation ratio.  Imagine taking the power, space and manageability issues of 30 servers out of your environment!  What a relief. [Read more…]

What to Do When Energy Issues Fall On Your Lap

High voltage powerlines.Historically the IT industry has been focused on one goal: Delivering faster and more reliable technology. Now a new demand has been thrown into the mix: Reducing energy consumption. When other departments were covering the electricity tab, IT didn’t have to worry about the harsh reality of rising power bills. But those days have come to an end.

“Most chief information officers don’t even consider electricity, so they don’t know that energy reduction should be on their radar. But many companies are asking IT to pay for its consumption and are building the reduction of energy consumption into compensation packages,” says Jose Iglesias, vice-president of global solutions for Symantec.

One of the biggest contributors to this problem is technology that is under-utilized (but sucking up energy still). Out of the seven million servers shipped worldwide, approximately six million are Intel x86 processors loaded with only a single application. This means that only 5% to 10% of a server is being used when the company is still paying for 100% of the electricity needed to run each server. With a server per application it’s no surprise data centers are getting crowded fast and the demands on cooling the data center just add to the electricity draw. [Read more…]

Organizations Reduce, Rather Than Shift, Emissions

Reducing one’s carbon footprint is a daunting task. Every operational activity a business undertakes results, directly or indirectly, in carbon emissions. As businesses strive to “go carbon neutral,” they are faced with two choices: reduce operational carbon emissions, or invest in credits or emission-neutralizing efforts to “offset” emissions that cannot be avoided. Many organizations that have historically employed this “pollute and pay” philosophy are rethinking their strategy, and opting instead to make meaningful reductions in work environment CO2.

When corporate environmentalism first took off there was no easy way to cut operating carbon emissions. Instead, companies invested in a form of emissions trading by buying “carbon credits.” These credits, sold by a number of third-parties, are a way to cancel out their projected emissions. Common carbon credits include investment in renewable power or the planting of trees. [Read more…]