January 25, 2011, 1:20 PM — Modern energy efficient technologies are becoming the norm, and most businesses understand that implementing "green IT" helps the environment and the bottom line. But many IT professionals lack a tool that is critical to understanding the full impact of energy efficient practices.
According to the Energy Efficient IT Report from CDW, 27% of IT managers never see their department's share of the energy bill. Without that information, IT may have a difficult time seeing the value and impact of their energy efficient efforts and policies. Most important, they may have a harder time making the business case for more energy efficient investments.
THE BASICS: Green IT Research Center
Consider the National Association of Realtors (NAR), North America's largest trade association with more than 1.1 million members. The association is composed of residential and commercial real estate brokers, real estate salespeople, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry.
Like many organizations surveyed by CDW, NAR's IT management does not see its department's share of the association's energy bill, making power usage somewhat invisible. Yet NAR's IT team had a list of goals that stretched beyond a power bill, such as saving space in its data center, increasing its computing power, reducing management costs and, above all, reducing its carbon footprint and supporting green initiatives.
With the help of CDW, NAR undertook several changes to become more energy efficient and upgraded its network and data center. It also took advantage of virtualization and server consolidation, which reduced NAR's energy consumption significantly, both in cooling and server operations.
Through virtualization, NAR reduced its server racks from 20 to just seven, making equipment more manageable for the IT staff. Additionally, the equipment was easier to cool because it was more efficiently spaced, which increased the data center's computing power within its limited space. At the end of the project, NAR achieved the efficiency goals it set out to pursue -- all while realizing an estimated $100,000 in annual savings due to reduced power use.