"Green IT" or "Green Computing" has been in the news a lot lately, especially with the recent spikes in energy prices in the United States that are now comparable to other regions, such as Western Europe. When looking further into the green aspect of computing, we see there are various levels of this energy conservation.
When you hear the term "Green IT", it's logical to assume it refers to the energy efficiency of various types of IT equipment. One of the key points of this is the power consumption of the devices themselves.
For example, Ethernet switches require electricity to perform. With efficiency being the measure of power compared to the amount of work performed. When network products use more power to perform the same amount of work a person can do, they are classified as less energy efficient. Inefficiency creates increased costs for a business, which are then passed onto the customer.
Energy efficiency can be measured in at least two ways:
- The measure of power consumed versus the cost of that power.
- The amount of heat produced by the equipment, with a product being less energy efficient if more air conditioning is required to cool it.
Businesses can participate in the "Green IT" or "Green Computing" concept by doing the following:
- VIRTUALIZATION: Running two or more computer systems on one set of physical hardware.
- POWER MANAGEMENT: Automatically turning off monitors and hard drives after set periods of inactivity.
- RECYCLING MATERIALS: Keeping harmful materials such as lead, mercury, and hexavalent chromium out of landfills.
- TELECOMMUTING: Utilizing teleconferencing and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technologies to reduces gas consumption and office space which require heating and lighting.
In summary, the goals of "Green IT" or "Green Computing" are to increase energy efficiency during a products lifetime, limit the use of hazardous materials and promote the recycling of defunct products.