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Five Future Developments for Greener IT

by on June 16, 2010

Nature-boy-computer   For years many corporations have been content to pick the low-hanging fruit when it comes to green computing. Now the time has come to move the process to the next level. What does that mean? Here are five future developments identified by CIO magazine that will raise the curtain on the next green wave in IT.

  1. Better Power Management.
    Computers and servers are notoriously power hungry devices. They draw power even when they’re idle. What’s more, much of that power is wasted as heat. Improvements in power management software will significantly reduce wasted power. Already, power management software that puts unused PCs into deep sleep mode can save a company $50 to $80 annually per unit. Better power management coupled with more efficient hardware through the Energy Star program will reduce energy consumption in the future.
  2. Faster Startups.
    While deep sleep is an energy saver, it doesn’t save as much energy as turning a computer off completely. However, since bootup times, especially with Microsoft Windows, are painfully slow, users are reluctant to turn off their machines. With future improvements in startup times, more users will be willing to turn off their machines and in the process save more energy.
  3. Cognition Detection.
    Although not ready for prime time yet, cognition detection systems promise significant energy savings when they come online. They have the ability to provide power when it’s demanded and scale it back when it’s not.
  4. High Voltage Devices.
    Data center systems that can accept higher-voltages are starting to enter the market. Typically, power enters the center at 480 volts. It then must be stepped down to 208 volts or lower before it goes to the hardware. That process creates heat, heat that requires cooling, cooling that requires energy. Reducing the step downs with higher voltage equipment can significantly impact energy costs. It’s been estimated that a 1000 server data center can save as much as $40,000 annually in energy costs by eliminating step owns.
  5. The Cloud.
    Just as businesses are sending much of their IT services to the cloud, they may be able to unload some of their energy burdens, too. Routers and network switches can consume as much as 25 percent of a company’s energy. Moving some of the need for those networking devices to the cloud could move energy costs there as well.
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