"Virtual servers have contributed to a savings of 3 million kWh in 2009, and it is anticipated that they will save an additional 2.5 million to 3 million kWh in 2010, for a total two-year estimated avoidance of up to 6 million kWh.
Server power management
People's picks: IBM Active Energy Manager
What makes it green: While desktop power management is a commonly used IT tool, server-side power saving isn't. "Data center managers preferred practice is to turn servers on and leave them that way forever," Lawrence says. "They need to be weaned off of that practice."
With server power management, IT managers not only can monitor energy requirements, but can cap power usage and place servers in power-savings mode, for example.
"In an ideal situation, you'd be able to read the utilization of all servers in a pool and move workloads off to a fewer number of servers, then turn some off - all in an automated fashion," he explains. "That'd take on the waste problem more directly and dramatically than has been the case in the data center hitherto."
In their own words:
"This software measures, monitors and manages the energy components built into IBM systems, enabling a cross-platform management solution. It extends the scope of energy management to include facility providers to enable a more complete view of energy consumption within the data center. It's part of our campus' standard portfolio toolset for ensuring optimal efficiency of IT assets."
Storage consolidation, tiering and virtualization
What makes them green: Enterprises are storing more data for longer periods of time, a trend that begs for ways to reduce a company's storage footprint. Archiving, compression, de-duplication, snapshots, thin provisioning - enterprises are grabbing onto any and all such technologies to achieve storage efficiencies, says Greg Schulz, founder of Server and StorageIO Group, a technology consulting firm.
"It's all about doing more with what you have. You need to process, move and store more, but in the same or smaller footprint. And that footprint is power and cooling, floor space, budget and people," he says.
Green storage is more than about avoidance, Schulz adds. It's about getting work done more efficiently, too.