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Why Green Computing?
Discovering NOLOGGING Operations The Case for In-House Disaster Recovery
Jun 05

He just makes it look easy5 years ago, if you asked the CIO of any Fortune 500 company what they were doing to reduce their carbon footprint, or make their data centers more ‘green‘ or eco-friendly, the answers you recieve may range from strange looks, to a ‘of course we care about things and stuff‘-styled answer. But today, I challenge anyone to ask the same question to the same people and find one CIO who isn’t developing or executing a plan to make their IT more green.

So what happened? Was it a highly-contagious attack of conscience? A wide swing to the left in corporate culture?

Perhaps they may be contributing factors, but large companies are embracing green as the new way to do business because green is the color of money. And embracing eco-friendly practices translates directly into cost savings (which translates directly into profit!). Not only that but, it also impacts scalability, growth potential, and disaster recovery! Many companies with a large IT footprint are seeing savings on the level of 6-7 digits per year!

So how do we get greener? By using what we have more efficiently.

One of the biggest keys is virtualization. If we have a system that leverages software pieces running on SUSE Linux, MSWindows, and RedHat, we would have to have 3 different sets of hardware in the server room. To make it more efficient, we’d have to rewrite these pieces to reside on the same box (costly, sometimes impossible when using COTS), or use an emulator (SLOW).

With virtualization software, such as the popular & powerful VMWare ESX Server, we can Virtualize all of those servers and put them on the same piece of hardware! If those applications are not very resource intensive, we can leverage that underutilized overhead and virtualize several other servers, and utilize that very same hardware!

By embracing this process, we will save the cost of:

  • additional hardware
  • additional power to supply that hardware
  • cabling to the hardware
  • network infrastructure
  • additional cooling
  • additional DR support equipment
  • additional expansion area
  • maintenance contracts

Being able to reduce your hardware footprint by 25%-80% has an incredible impact on overall savings. It also doesn’t take into consideration the savings garnered by using the VMs to clone production Virtual Machines for development, testing, benchmarking, and debugging. Or the ease of maintenence provided by hot-swappable blade servers. Or the ease of test promotion via cloning of Virtual Machines. Or… Well, you get the idea.

It Isn’t Easy Being Green, but the payoff is worth it.

More to come…

Brian Fedorko

2 Responses to “Why Green Computing?”

  1. Timbo Says:

    I can personally attest to the amount of money that can be saved by going “green.” I recently purchased new hardware for a home server which will use virtualization as well as utilize higher efficient hardware. True, there was a initial impact of a few hundred bucks, but I expect that to be paid off rather quickly as the new hardware uses less that 50% of the power that the old stuff needed. Plus it’s faster and has more storage, more capabilities and less heat which means less fans which means less power to run the fans (also less noise). All-in-all a win/win situation.

  2. brian.fedorko Says:

    I hadn’t even considered the savings you could realize at home! You are spot on - energy savings and infrastructure savings isn’t limited to data cnters and server rooms. As in your excellent example, the savings can extend to our living rooms and home offices!

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