Green IT or Efficiency and Savings Although for many years such

Green IT
Efficiency and Savings
Green IT or Efficiency and Savings
Although for many years such notions as “financial growth” and
“environmental quality” were at odds, nowadays “ecology” has become a key
concept in many fields of business. So, why not introduce environmentally
friendly management techniques also in the still-evolving information
A trend to sort waste, save water etc. has entered almost every aspect of life. And it is not only an
idea to ensure a clean environment for future generations, but also an obvious advantage right
now thanks to cost reduction in the consumption of electricity and other resources. The highlights
of such solutions have been recognized almost 20 years ago.
Everybody has it
When typing "Green IT" in the search engine, a broad scope of search results can be expected.
The market is growing dynamically, resulting in the showing up of big “green alliances”, such as
The Green Grid. It is comprised of HP, VMware, AMD, Microsoft as well as Intel. The goal of the
group is to increase big data centers’ energy efficiency. Another group called Climate Savers
Computing Initiative gathers such companies as Google, Dell, IBM and Lenovo as well as already
mentioned HP, Microsoft and Intel. The initiative is dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas
emissions from PCs and servers. Other giants, such as Cisco, Infosys or Wipro have also entered
the consulting market.
The works aimed at increasing system effectiveness through the use of resources utilization
management are becoming ubiquitous. Indeed, as Forrester’s study shows, the global green
consulting market will reach the value of almost $5 billion in 2013. No wonder then, that the green
solutions are abundant on the IT market.
There are many ways
What is really Green IT? It is any action intended to reduce or eliminate environmental damage
increase savings within the IT. This goal can be achieved in several ways, e.g. using efficient
energy management, changing the structure of data centers, server virtualization, proper sorting
and waste disposal, using renewable energy sources, or telecommuting. The optimization of the
network is a major challenge. Fortunately, it does not need to involve huge costs. The very change
in the structure of servers and the replacement of the cooling system with a row & rack one can
save up to 35% of energy. Intel has calculated that the replacement of 4-year servers with newer
ones can bring the same efficiency with 90% energy savings or efficiency increase with 20% cost
reduction (Intel, Realizing Data Center Savings with an Accelerated Server Refresh Strategy). The
payback period should be less than one year.
Considering green technologies, the first that comes to mind is recycling or energy efficient
hardware. This area is the one that the most initiatives are usually taken in. For example, power
supply units (PSUs) are generally 70–75% efficient, dissipating the remaining energy as heat. In
recent years there has been an initiative called “80 PLUS” that certifies PSUs that are at least 80%
efficient. Similarly, the use of LEDs in the new generation of monitors aims at reducing the amount
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Green IT or Efficiency and Savings
of electricity used. And what should one do after the “death” of the hardware? Returning the
hardware to a special electronic waste management company is highly recommended.
Telecommuting and teleconferencing can be similarly environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
Increased employee satisfaction and work efficiency (not wasting time in traffic jams, working from
home), reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to travel, increased profit margin as a
result of lower office space requirements and the related heating, lighting and phone bills cost
reduction (through VoIP technology) etc. contribute to significant cost savings. For example, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that 70% of the energy consumption in
offices is used for heating, air conditioning and lighting.
Network management
Green network management systems aim is not only to increase the efficiency of the infrastructure
(as a majority of such systems do), but also to maximize the use of resources and save on electric
bills thanks to the reduced energy consumption, while protecting the environment through
utilization management on the entire service level. This can be achieved by server virtualization
(several servers may be located on one machine), algorithms performance control or the use of
thin client technology. This means shifting the computing from the client to the server side. The
deployment of such terminals can save up to 85-90% of the energy in comparison to the use of
ordinary workstations. Typically, also an advanced ACPI is used, disabling or hibernating
components, which are currently not in use.
Network challenge
IT systems in large organizations such as e-commerce platforms, Internet banks, travel portals
and others are of complex nature and typically utilize many elements to provide the service, such
Network infrastructure (PoE switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers etc.),
Servers (hardware, virtual machines, terminal servers, clusters, database servers etc.),
Storage and backup (RAID arrays, SAN devices etc.),
Voice infrastructure (soft-switches, phone system, PSTN gateways etc.).
Whereas most of individual hardware elements provide some kinds of energy saving mechanisms,
it is difficult to manage energy consumption on an entire service basis. A complex interaction
between hardware, software and network is required.
Such a great number of elements need an intelligent system that will, through a decision-making
agent, base all the actions on the current state of environment (in this case hardware and software
elements used to provide the service). Such a holistically seen NMS seems to be the best platform
for implementation of service power management.
For the purpose of significant savings on the energy consumed, Verax Systems has been
developing its own NMS. For example, thanks to the distributed architecture Verax NMS evenly
distributes the load on multiple servers. Verax NMS is designed to be a holistic, complex solution,
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Green IT or Efficiency and Savings
due to the presence of highly effective management models, efficient data storage (decisionmaking base) and full flexibility achieved by modularity (each managed element has a separate
plug-in module .jar, which is open and exposed to the core system and enables them to use third
party packages as BPM etc.).
The key to successful deployment lies in the business rules. Verax Systems works on a solution
based on scripted business logic, allowing modifications without core system changes. Such
architecture provides the possibility to change only those elements, which are currently required
and as a result faster and better management of particular network elements.
Play it green
It is thus clear, that deploying in green technologies that optimize actions and increase efficiency it
is possible to take the opportunity and deploy solutions controlling the resource use and the
energy consumption. Therefore, the cost of introducing those technologies can be easily counted
into the cost of the whole system modernization. Later, the company will only enjoy the long-term
savings and profits, at the same time helping the environment. And this is what Green IT is all
LED – light-emitting diode;
VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol;
NMS – Network Management System;
ACPI – Advanced Configuration and Power Interface;
PoE – Power over Ethernet, a system to transmit power along with data to remote devices
in an Ethernet network;
SLB – Server Load Balancer;
Cluster – a group of loosely coupled computers that work together closely;
RAID – Redundant Array of Independent Discs;
SAN – Storage Area Network;
Softswitch – a central device in a telecommunications network which connects calls from
one phone line to another, entirely by means of software running on a computer system;
PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network, e.g. ISDN;
BPM – Business Performance Management.
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