How to be an energy miser

Companies spend as much as 10 percent of their total IT budgets on power and cooling, according to Gartner Inc. Much has been written about reducing energy consumption by migrating to green buildings and green data centres. Here are some additional ways IT organizations can reduce energy costs:

? Raise corporate awareness. Few people inside or outside the IT organization understand the amount of energy consumed by IT systems. Garner support for energy reduction programs by quantifying and communicating these costs.

? Focus on total system energy. Power supplies, memory and monitors are all becoming more energy-efficient. In addition, an energy-efficient operating system helps minimize the total energy consumed and can automatically turn off unused components.

? Model data centre power and cooling. New modeling tools recommend equipment placement that minimizes power and air conditioning requirements. They use sensors that monitor actual power consumption and airflow to suggest additional improvements.

? Consider utility rates when locating server centres. Google and HSBC, for example, are constructing new server centres to take advantage of hydroelectric power.

? Install modular, scalable uninterruptible power supplies. Older UPS systems are among the biggest power wasters in data centres, consuming more energy than the load requires. Newer systems reduce unnecessary energy consumption.

? Upgrade cooling. Some cooling systems reduce costs by capturing and neutralizing hot air near its creation point. Data centres configured with hot and cold aisles reduce the amount of energy required for cooling.

? Use energy-efficient lighting. An LED bulb consumes a quarter of the electricity of an incandescent bulb, without the harsh light of a florescent bulb.

? Reduce data volumes. Remind your staff to regularly purge unused files, remove duplicates and compress existing files. Investigate automatic archiving systems.

? Take advantage of utility rebates and tax credits.

? Follow guidelines of green associations. Various groups, such as The Green Grid, promote green computing and green facilities. Investigate their recommendations. 074269