Phasing in the Green

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First consider how something like virtualization will help your organization. If a server fails or it is time to replace several servers, virtualization can allow you to replace several servers with perhaps a single server. In environments large and small, this might mean you can reduce the number of running servers while providing the same (or even improved) level of service.

For instance, Let’s consider replacing eight aging servers with a 12GHz multi-core server (a four-core device with 3GHz per core) running a virtualization product like Microsoft Virtual Server or VMWare ESX. After getting the new server up and running, we could have all eight servers virtualized into a single, more powerful server platform while giving each server essentially 1.5GHz of processing power.

While the scenario above is very simplified one, you can see how virtualization should always be considered when updating servers. You would rarely put just one virtualized server to work in your organization (think about performance and redundancy), but if you were able to reduce number physical servers you have running today you’d save huge amounts of money upfront, not to mention the costs you’ll save in power and cooling. I’ll talk more about virtualization in an upcoming blog.

Another example is one where an organization can save good money by reducing energy consumption by replacing older laptop and desktop computers with those that are more energy efficient.

For example, Dell offers a couple of energy calculators on their energy webpage. True, they use only Dell computers for their comparisons (and I’m not a Dell salesman), but let’s use their data for a quick and easy way to make my point:

A baseline configured OptiPlex GX620 system will use 966 Kilowatt hours (KWh) and will cost US$96.60 per year in energy. If the same computer is purchased with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor (versus the baseline’s Intel Pentium D), Dell Energy Smart power management (the baseline doesn’t have it), and a 17” flat panel monitor (as opposed to a 17” CRT), total power consumption on the green machine is 210 KWh, with a total cost of $36.80 per year – a savings of about 60%. Now, consider those savings duplicated by hundreds, or even thousands of workstations across your organization. The impact is even more amazing when many organizations do this – think of the huge amounts of energy saved when millions of laptops and PC are replaced with more efficient units (when they need to be replaced, of course).

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