Hey guys, Did you know that in june there was International Green IT Awareness Week? It’s an annual event designed to educate individuals, corporations and governments about their technology-related environmental footprint, and more importantly, help them reduce it.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, “Green IT” (sometimes called “IT Sustainability”) is about using computers and IT resources in a more efficient and environmentally responsible way. Here’s a great definition from the book Green IT for Sustainable Business Practice by Mark G. O’Neill:
“Green IT is a collection of strategic and tactical initiatives that directly reduces the carbon footprint of an organisation’s computing operation… However, Green IT is not just focused on reducing the impact of the ICT industry. It is also focused on using the services of ICT to help reduce the organisation’s overall carbon footprint.”
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Greenhouse gasses get trapped in the atmosphere and force heat and radiation back to the Earth’s surface – which contributes to global warming and climate change. And while we definitely need governments to do their part, you can make a difference RIGHT NOW by following these tips in your own office:
· Increase the server room temperature
Recent tests and reports are revealing that, contrary to popular belief, the temperature in the server room doesn’t need to be very cold. For instance, Sun Microsystems recently discovered that servers work quite well in temperatures between 21°C (70° F) and 26°C (79° F). And guess what? In addition to helping save the environment, you’ll save your company money, too! For example, Microsoft recently saved $380,000 at one of their Silicon Valley data centres by adjusting their thermostat up by just two degrees C° (3.6° F)
· Use economizers in the data centre
Economizers are used in data centers to replace or complement cooling devices, and can reduce energy consumption by up to 60%. Generally, there are two types of economizers used by data centre managers: air-side and water-side. Air-side economizers pull cooler air from the ambient temperatures (usually from outside), and use that cooler air to reduce the temperature of the hardware, which prevents overheating. Water-side economizers use cold water to cool down the exterior of a water tower, which is then used to cool water for air conditioning. This is alternative to using mechanical methods for cooling the water.
· Virtualize the data storage
Many IT departments have storage tied directly to individual servers. However, by consolidating storage into a SAN, they can allocate space to a whole range of servers. What’s more, virtualizing your data storage can reduce your capital overhead costs, hardware needs and e-waste, while offering a very cost-effective, efficient solution for using existing servers.
· Assign an IT advocate for energy efficiency
Even if it seems obvious, it is important to assign someone in your IT department who will be in charge of monitoring, managing, and reporting on energy consumption and costs, and educating users on how they can reduce their carbon footprint.
· Properly dispose of e-waste
And of course, don’t forget to properly dispose of all e-waste, which may include donating it to a community organization.
What are your tips?
I’m sure there are many other great tips that we could add to this list. Please share your best ones with the community by commenting below!