IT Infrastructure specialist Richardson Eyres recently issued a press release to help drum up some consulting business in the Retail market but make some generally applicable and interesting points worth looking at.
Even though most organizations are making energy cuts a top priority for 2008/9, many are not taking green issues seriously enough and are adopting a do-it-yourself approach.
Funnily enough consulting firms take a dim view of their potential customers adopting a DIY approach. In some specialist cases consultants are right but in others much can be done by the average end user, supported by consultants.
“Organisations going for the informal approach can lack structure in their environmental policies and this can affect the level of success that they achieve in reducing both energy costs and CO2 emissions,” said Adam Kemp, director, RichardsoNEyres. “While computers may drive efficiency, the data centres that run businesses are often far from efficient. They are at the heart of environmental challenges created by IT but the average retailer just does not have the necessary knowledge to bring about change.”
Here is the six point plan that Richardson Eyres recommend. Because it is a bit generic, I have added some value between the lines:
Infrastructure review. To kick off their green data centre campaigns, retailers must first undertake an IT infrastructure and data centre review, leading to an action plan to simultaneously reduce cost, improve performance and cut environmental impact.
Emissions review. Conducting a data centre power and emissions review will create a foundation for understanding how to meet or exceed government or corporate environmental targets and will help meet the requirements of ISO14001 which specifies the requirements for an environmental management system
Power priority. With power costs undoubtedly continuing to rise and with many estimates suggesting that the price of running and cooling hardware will soon outstrip the cost of the hardware itself, this is clearly an area for improvement.
Virtualization. Server and storage virtualisation enables you to concentrate workloads onto fewer servers and storage devices. Replacing physical servers and storage devices with virtual machines reduces the energy required to run them, thus reducing CO2 emissions and running costs. It also improves utilisation of available hardware.
Consolidation. Whether it involves moving remote IT facilities into a centrally managed location or combining existing data centres, consolidation can reduce your carbon footprint as well as simplifying management and reducing cost.
Star rating. When purchasing new IT equipment, always check its rating under the European Community Energy Star program for energy efficient office equipment.