Monday, June 15, 2009

Green Grid's prove cost savings for IT Firms

The Article I read on InfoWorld.Com is entitled, Green Grid's metric sow seeds for IT sustainablity by Galen Gruman, points out some interesting suggestions for IT firms to save money by going "green".

Many IT executives are feeling the pain paying high energy bills (electricity) especially in their data centers. A board was created "The Green Grid" in February of 2007. This board developed a metric(s) that helped companies battle their energy crisis and high costs. The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Data Center Efficiency (DCE) metrics were the metrics that they used. According to the author, these were sustainable IT practices.

The metrics allowed the datacenters and the vendors a way "to measure energy usuage in a consistent way, across various datacenters configurations and product mixes, providing both the insight on where energy is consumed and the ability to gauge whether energy-reduction efforts are actually working." (Gruman)

IT professionals like to use'best practices' and the latest technologies to make their datacenters state of the art and world-class centers to stay ahead of the competition. Gruman states that in trying to keep up, making IT greener was not an initial goal of the industry professionals. The Green Grid intentionally avoids product recommendations but spends a lot of time on a conscensus among its members. When the government stepped in; it recommended that ALL corporations strive for greener environments. Companies then set limits and guidelines on best practices to save the environment.

Ted Samson writes in his article, "25 facts you should know about green IT", - The EPA estimated in 2006 that the typical enterprise datacenter had a PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) rating of 2.0 or higher. (Ratings below 2.0 are better for the environment.) Through equipment efficiency improvements alone, combined with current practices, the number should reach 1.9 by 2011. The EPA predicts that "state-of-the-art datacenters," using exotic energy-efficient power and cooling technologies such as liquid cooling and combined heat-and-power energy generation solutions, could reach a PUE of 1.2.

This is an interesting idea given that the average IT professional is not concerned with the energy they are using, they are more concerned with how their equipment can be faster, more efficient and out do the competition. Gruman also comments on the term "greenwashing". This was coined by NY Environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986. Westerveld indicated that the hotel industry was doing little or nothing to help the environment by getting guest to reuse towels - it was merely a ploy for the hotel to be able to save some money on their costs.

When I think about it more - companies should do everything possible to "become greener" - after all it will be a cost savings to them and eventually a lower price for the client or average consumer. Because technology is so helpful to all in multiple ways - saving the environment, cost savings and being a 'greener consumer' could be a great benefit to all of us.

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