GREEN IT at Universityof BahrainBy Jaflah AlAmmary
Energy consumption andsubsequent carbon dioxideemission from ICT at UOB
Info-tech (2007) Identified 11 technologies and initiatives asindicators of Green IT. These include•Equipment recycling,•Server consolidation and virtualization•Print optimization•Rightsizing IT equipment•Green considerations in sourcing and RFPs•Budget allocation for Green IT projects•Carbon offsetting•Data center : (Liquid cooling for IT equipment, DC powered ITequipment, Airside/waterside economizer, Data centre airflowmanagement, Optimizing data centre energy efficiency, Hot aisle/coolaisle data centre layout (Hot aisle/cold aisle is a layout design forserver racks and other computing equipment in a data center. Thegoal of a hot aisle/cold aisle configuration is to conserve energy andlower cooling costs by managing air flow)
• Going green in the data centre have many facets such as reducing overall power consumption, maximizing power utilization, reducing the amount of hardware via consolidation, and decreasing the amount of storage required to meet data processing requirements”• In the data centre, going green is about energy efficiency first and foremost. Fortunately, efficiency is a natural by-product of solving the cooling, power and space challenges that today’s data centres face. Brocade (2007) Mitchell (2008)
• Whilst some have argued that eco- responsibility is simply hype and that mist companies don’t have any actual plans in place (Mazenier, 2007)• And there’s more awareness then ever about what organisations can do to “green” their operations and reduce their impact on environment.
Drivers for uptake of green technology (multiple answers allowed, top 4 below) (Mazenier, 2007) - Reduce power consumption 75% - Lower costs 73% - Lower carbon emissions and environmental impact (e.g. recycling) 56% - Improved systems performance and utilization 55%
• Strategies that would help green the IT department (multiple answers allowed, top 4 below)• - Energy efficiency technologies 80% - Power cooling solutions 63% - Systems virtualisation 60% - Data centre consolidation 48%
• It is encouraging that many businesses have green initiatives in place but it is not surprising that taking the next step and introducing green technology, is lagging behind. Companies need to act now, as for a large organisation it can take up to 18 months to green the IT department and data centre.• The research report said that although there was still a gap between awareness and action, this gap had narrowed in the past six months.
• Cost continues to be the core underlying motivation behind the implementation of green IT," said report author Daniel Krauss. "While this is understandable, especially during a time of budget restraint, we expect to see other motivations like brand perception increase in the future as green IT plays a more holistic role within the overall sustainability strategy of organisations."
CompliancePillars of the Green IT FrameworkInvest in up-to-date IT hardware, which typically consumes less energy than oldermodels. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star qualification also showsproducts that meet stringent energy consumption guidelines.End users should be familiar with the energy settings on their computers and useoptions that are appropriate for their function and style.Screen savers should be disabled. Instead, monitors should be put to sleep afterperiods of inactivity.Devices that can be completely powered off during non-work hours can beconsolidated onto power strips, which should be completely unplugged during non-useto avoid drawing standby power. This only applies to non-compute devices, such asprinters or chargers.Companies that have data centers (which consume up to 100 times the energy oftypical buildings) should first determine the heat profile of the data center since coolingis an important factor. The heat profile is based on the floorplan, arrangement ofservers, and types of loads for each server. A tool such as AdaptivCool’s DemandBased Cooling can help model data center heat so that a proper solution can beplanned.
From a sourcing perspective, Green IT implies the practice ofenvironmentally preferable IT purchasing. Thisinvolves adoption of sourcing practices such as analysis of theenvironmental foot print of an IT hardwaresupply chain, evaluation of the green track record of software and ITservices providers, incorporating greenissues (such as recyclable design and packaging) in vendor evaluation, andinclusion of social concerns (such asuse of child labour and presence of harmful materials in IT supply chain) inIT procurement decisions. It alsocovers an assessment of the environmental performance of products suchas the adoption of the ElectronicProduct Environmental Assessment tool (Info~Tech, 2007b). Further,developing a clear policy statement onenvironmental IT purchasing and Green IT request for proposals can beused as indications of Green ITadoption.
From an operation perspective, Green IT implies improving energyefficiency in powering and coolingcorporate IT assets and reducing IT induced greenhouse gasemissions. Rasmussen (2006) identifies two typesof energy consumption reduction- temporary and structuralconsumption avoidance. While temporaryavoidance refers to optimization of energy utilisation without reducingthe installed power base, structuralavoidance results in reduction in installed power capacity. A numberof green technologies and practices related to the two categories canbe used as indications of the adoption of Green IT operation. Some ofthese are outlined in table one (Info~Tech, 2007c). Others includecarbon offset programs (ACS, 2007), right-sizing thenetwork critical physical infrastructure (NCPI) system to IT load,upgrading to energy efficient servers, retiringold systems, using efficient NCPI devices, and designing energyefficient systems (Rasmussen (2006).
From a service perspective, Green IT refers to the role of IT in supportinga business’s overall sustainabilityinitiatives. Adopting a Green IT from a services perspective thereforeincludes adoption of analytical tools forgreen supply chain management, environmental management and carbonfoot print analysis. It also includes ICTbased low carbon business solutions such as video-conferencing, thinclient and web based business services,virtual collaboration and IP telephony (Olson, 2008; Nunn, 2007; ACS,2007). Adoption of Green IT systemsthat integrate information from Green IT sourcing and operationtechnologies for management decision makingis also another dimension (Mines, 2008). Further, desktop virtualization,and policies and practices for corporatewide PC power management, PC use and print optimisation regimes canbe included in this category.
From end of IT life management perspective, Green IT refers topractices in reusing, recycling and disposing IThardware. Due to the growth and rapid change of ICTs, electronicdevices are making up the fastest growingproportion of waste materials (Kangand and Schoenung, 2005).Paradoxically, green IT initiatives to replace ITequipment with more energy efficient equipment would generate asurge in electronic waste and consumeadditional resources if equipment is replaced before the end of itsnatural life., unless complemented with wouldgenerate Some of these include hazardous materials and cancontribute to a firms total environmental foot print.For example, UK’s retailer Marks and Spencer has set an ambitiousplan to be carbon neutral and aims that noneof its waste (including IT) goes to landfills (Accenture, 2007). Leading ITvendors such as Sun, IBM and EDSand services providers such as Accenture have adopted e-wasterecycling programs (Mines, 2008).
Why going green it• Setting a positive example for employees which boosts morale and company loyalty• • Gaining a competitive advantage by differentiating yourself as a Green- certify company• • Improving efficiency and potentially lowering operating costs• • Providing a cleaner and healthier work environment