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February 16th, 2012

Computers are not optional. They’re a way of life. But desktops, laptops, servers and other IT devices can take as much energy to cool as they do to run, so there is substantial environmental impact. Even CRE’s individually efficient Mac Pro rentals add to the challenge when you have a company full of them, plus as many (or more) PCs and other equipment.

Stanford University recently reported that 15% of total campus electricity use is for an IT infrastructure with 40,000 computers and 6,000 servers. At some firms, the IT energy share can reach 50%. The double-barreled challenge is to reduce both financial and environmental impacts.

100% Eco Friendly

Accelerating need

Sustainable IT management targets both the systems and the facilities that house them. Mitigating the cost and environmental impact of IT-related activity includes

  • reducing the electricity demands for computing and telecom equipment,
  • minimizing the energy used for cooling,
  • decreasing the total amount of energy used to build the systems,
  • reallocating the resources needed for new facilities, and
  • reducing the electronic waste resulting from equipment disposal.

Every business is different, so you will have to consider your unique situation, but here are some things to keep in mind while doing so.

Computers and office equipment

Companies can start saving energy one computer at a time and make a dramatic impact. The iMac, like Windows PCs, has utilities to manage energy consumption, automate backups, simplify maintenance and protect against crashes. “Smart” power strips also help.

The Stanford study estimated that just dimming monitors and letting computers “sleep” saves the university over 2 million kWh of electricity annually. All computers, whether generic beige boxes or an all-in-one multitouch display PC, must meet EnergyStar requirements.

Data centers

Advanced new instrumentation enables ongoing monitoring and automated temperature control. Energy requirements are reduced by “cold-aisle containment” and variable speed drives on air-handling devices.

Server rooms

The Satellite Server Room section of Stanford’s study indicated that, whether you use Apple’s Xserve technology or some other, how you design and manage server rooms “can make a 2x difference” in operating costs. Design matters, big time!

Server virtualization

Server virtualization gives you multiple virtual servers on a single physical one, reducing energy use tremendously. Virtualization also means improved increased flexibility, superior crash recovery and reduced operating costs. VMware and others make virtualization products for use in any modern computing environment, from mainframes on down.

Energy savings via mobility

Various types of “work anywhere” systems allow mobile and remote access, communication and collaboration via smart phones, tablet PCs and iPad rentals. Costs (and greenhouse gases) associated with travel go down, while overall efficiency goes up.

A great deal of effort goes into planning for sustainability. CRE is part of that plan because of our own “green philosophy” and the efficiencies of renting vs. buying certain technology. It’s different for every firm, so call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive and talk about it. Know what you need? Hit our Quick Rental Quote form and you’ll be on your way in no time!

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