Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2008 - the year of green IT

According to recent scientific reports, there is now added urgency for a more comprehensive international climate agreement post-2012. According to the most stringent scenario outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global average surface temperature can still be limited to an increase of two degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level. Staying within this limit means a reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions of at least 50% below the 1990 level by 2050.

Currently, all the media attention is focused on the aviation and transportation sector as the villains. However, the IT data center, and the computer in general, wastes a significant amount of energy every day. UK government figures quote that an organization can save GBP50 per PC per year in energy costs by simply ensuring that PCs are switched off after work and at weekends. The data center represents an even bigger prize for organizations that address the issue of under-utilization of servers; a Butler Group report found that by consolidating 250 dual-core servers onto 25 more powerful dual-core servers, an organization could save GBP140,000 per year in energy costs alone.

In fact, rumors from the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRSEG) report that post-2012, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme will be extended, and that this extension will inevitably affect more organizations than the current scheme. One possible approach will be for a carbon emissions cap on organizations, which will force them to look at their energy consumption. IT can offer solutions that will enable a reduction in energy use.

Organizations need to consider the power and cooling impact that IT data centers represent, and adopt new technologies that can significantly reduce their use of energy, and hence an organization's carbon footprint. Virtualization is one such technology that organizations should be actively investigating, because as the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali looks set to report, action is needed now. The impact that IT computing resources contribute to the overall organizational energy consumption needs to be addressed before legislation is introduced, forcing organizations to report on and then reduce their energy consumption, or face penalty charges.

IT departments can take the lead within organizations, and create a new role for themselves in the process, by enabling organizations to be proactive in reducing energy consumption, and hence reduce their carbon footprint.

Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)
Src: http://www.cbronline.com