Justifying Green IT and Home Hardware Upgrades with EnergyStar

November 23, 2009 – 5:10 pm

Energy Star

Have you seen the TV commercials or print advertisements where an energy star washer is mentioned as so efficient that the savings from reduced power consumption are enough to pay for the dryer? If not, check out the EPA Energy Star website for information about various programs, savings and efficiency options to learn more

What does this have to do with servers, storage, networking, data centers or other IT equipment?

Simple, if you are not aware, Energy Star for Servers now exits and is being enhanced while good progress is being made on the Energy Star for storage program.

The Energy Star for household appliances has been around a bit longer and more refined, something that I anticipated the server and storage programs to follow-suit with over time.

What really caught my eye with the commercial is the focus on closing the green gap, that is instead of the green environmental impact savings of an appliance that uses less power and subsequent carbon footprint benefits, the message is to the economic hot button. That is, switch to more energy efficient technology that allows more work to done at a lower overall cost and the savings can help self fund the enhancements.

For example, a more energy efficient server that can do more work or GHz per watt of energy when needed, or, to go into lower power modes (intelligent power management: IPM). Low power modes do not necessarily mean turning completely off, rather, drawing less energy and subsequently lower cooling demands during slow periods such as with new Intel Nehalem and other processors.

From a disk storage perspective, energy efficiency is often thought to be avoidance or turning disk drives off boosting capacity and squeezing data footprints.

However energy efficiency and savings can also be achieved by slowing a disk drive down or turning of some of the electronics to reduce energy consumption and heat generation.

Other forms of energy savings include thin provisioning and deduplication however another form of energy efficiency for storage is boosting performance. That is, doing more work per watt of energy for active or time sensitive applications or usage scenarios.

Thus there is another Green IT, one that provides both economic and environmental benefits!

Here are some related links:

Saving Money with Green IT: Time To Invest In Information Factories

EPA Energy Star for Data Center Storage Update

Green Storage is Alive and Well: ENERGY STAR Enterprise Storage Stakeholder Meeting Details

Shifting from energy avoidance to energy efficiency

U.S. EPA Energy Star for Server Update

U.S. EPA Looking for Industry Input on Energy Star for Storage

Update: EnergyStar for Server Workshop

US EPA EnergyStar for Servers Wants To Hear From YOU!

Optimize Data Storage for Performance and Capacity Efficiency

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
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