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Thread: Green IT

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    Full Member Cream's Avatar
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    Green IT

    We wrote our last article for the year (can't believe the year end is so close) and one of the topics covered was about Green IT:

    It may be an interesting read:

    Can IT have an impact on the environment?

    On most agenda’s within the ICT Industry is ‘Green IT’. Electricity consumption for the operation of servers, PCs and other IT related equipment is responsible for an increasingly large proportion of energy consumed by authorities and institutions – and therefore of their contribution to total CO2 emissions.

    Carbon dioxide and its equivalents, such as methane and nitrous oxide (referred to, collectively, as CO2e) have a direct impact on the climate change which is the main focus of concern for governments and other organisations.

    Many organisations are talking about Green IT, we are driven by technology, and it is an essential part of any organisation. Green IT refers to the study and practice of using computers and IT resources in a more efficient and environmentally responsible way. Computers and computing eat up a lot of natural resources, from the raw materials needed to manufacture them, the power used to run them, and the problems of disposing them at end of life.

    IT Vendors are also doing there bit by employing cleaner and leaner sourcing and manufacturing techniques, by designing products that consume less energy and materials ‘during’ use and helping with reuse and recycling ‘after’ use. Manufacturers are also beginning to produce environmental information that you can use when making your buying choices.

    Just some of the names helping and contributing towards Green IT are:
    · HP
    · IBM
    · Microsoft
    · Dell
    · Gartner

    Gartner estimates that the ICT Industry accounts for 2% of Global CO2 emissions. A focus on Green IT can help to protect the environment and we explore ways to achieve a greener profile in the area of IT.

    Some Practical examples to reduce the electrical consumption around the office are highlighted below.

    · Change from stationary computers to portable computers or thin clients
    Why: Portable computers are traditionally designed to use less electricity than stationary PCs.

    · Determine opportunities for environmentally friendly disposal of equipment in discussions with suppliers
    Why: From an environmental perspective and for the purposes of planning future disposal it can be an advantage to enter into a detailed dialogue with potential suppliers regarding the opportunities offered by their concept for the disposal of unserviceable equipment.

    · Use time-controlled electricity saving profiles for PCs
    Why: In most modern operating systems it is possible to use different electricity saving profiles for desktop PCs depending on the time of day. Public PCs are especially worth configuring in this way so that they change to a very strict electricity saving profile outside of the institution’s normal opening hours.

    · Use time-controlled electricity saving profiles for printers and copiers
    Why: The majority of printers are not constantly in use and have different hibernation modes. It can be worth seeing if the authority’s existing printers can be configured to enter a mild hibernation mode after not being used for a long period of time and full hibernation mode outside of normal working hours.

    · Change to flat screens
    Why: A shift from a traditional CRT screen to a flat screen of the same size can reduce electricity consumption by up to two thirds. Based on an electricity saving perspective there is good sense in replacing traditional CRT screen with flat screens. However the environmental impact of manufacturing the new screens does mean that the existing screens’ energy consumption should be included in considerations connected with such replacement.

    In the realm of Data Centres and Server rooms, a large amount of research and development has gone into improving the electrical demand of the centres. When studying the PUE (Power Utilisation Efficiency) index of installations, which basically means how much power is consumed on supporting services (Climate control, UPS and Generator support) compared to the Data equipment load; the IT managers can identify opportunities to enhance efficiency. The lower the PUE, the better. Some examples of power saving measures are highlighted below:

    · Install blanking panels in server racks
    Why: Empty slots in a server rack can result in warm air from the server’s exhaust duct circulating back to the front, where the cold air for ventilation is pulled into the machines. This means that the cooling system has to work harder than would normally be necessary. When multiple racks are used it is best practice to organize all the racks in such a way that all the racks discharge in the same direction, this is called a “hot-isle cold isle” arrangement.

    · Position the servers in module cabinets with dedicated cooling
    Why: If a server room is based on blade servers organised in a rack, it is possible to concentrate cooling in the rack cabinet itself, which reduces the amount of air that requires cooling. Since blade servers also generally have more efficient power supplies, a transition from conventional servers to blade servers can lead to savings of up to 20% of electricity consumption.

    · Virtualise the servers and consolidate capacity/storage space
    Why: Virtualisation is becoming more and more common in public authorities’ server rooms. Solutions to support server virtualisation are found as standard software from a number of suppliers today and the increasing competition in the market makes it ever cheaper for customers to obtain fundamental virtualisation solutions. When looking at virtualisation opportunities, it is also worth considering that new servers with multi-core architecture can replace two or more traditional servers and offer the same performance with lower electricity consumption and therefore less load is placed on the supporting services.

    · Adjusting the environmental set-point conditions
    Why: Traditionally Server rooms have been controlled between 20-22oC with a controlled relative humidity of 50%RH. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have recently revised the acceptable conditions for Data Centres by increasing the allowable temperature and humidity range allowed based on the Server equipment suppliers technical requirements. This change has enabled a drive to energy efficiency within the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems; while not compromising the computer equipment.

    · HVAC systems optimisation
    Why: After the computer equipment load the HVAC systems represent the largest electrical consumption of the installation. By upgrading systems to make use of the most efficient technology can dramatically reduce the demand of the HVAC systems and can be integrated with further techniques to decrease the PUE; variable- speed control of plant or Isle containment are two examples.

    The word “Green IT” is a relatively new concept that has roots in the old age concept of driving efficiency from all aspects of the business; whether it is from people, processes or assets. As can been seen in this short discussion there are a multitude of ways to increase the efficiency of the IT systems, with many more opportunities to explore; and with all the press Eskom has been getting lately wouldn’t it be a nice surprise seeing your electricity bill getting cheaper.
    Source: November Edition_2010
    Last edited by Cream; 29-Nov-10 at 07:02 PM.

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    Gold Member Martinco's Avatar
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    Change to flat screens
    Why: A shift from a traditional CRT screen to a flat screen of the same size can reduce electricity consumption by up to two thirds. Based on an electricity saving perspective there is good sense in replacing traditional CRT screen with flat screens.


    Is this in fact true ?

    The other day I looked at this and according to the specs of my 40" flatscreen, it consumes about 400 watts and a 24" CRT only at 80 watts.
    I realise that the sizes are not the same but even if you double the size of the CRT it only comes to 160 watt.
    Or are there other factors to play ?
    Last edited by Martinco; 30-Nov-10 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Removed "quote"
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I must be perfectly honest - I think that the "Green Movement" is one of the biggest money making rackets out there. Spend R1,000,000 on your server room and save R1000 on electricity, R500,000 for a car and save R100 a month on petrol, R20,000 on solar power and save R50 per month on electricity, etc. Then of course there is the carbon footprint nonnsense - who makes up the calculations anyway, where does the cabon tax money go?
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Gold Member Martinco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    Where does the carbon tax money go?
    I will give you 3 guesses and all will be right !
    Martin Coetzee
    Supplier of Stainless Steel Band and Buckle and various fastening systems. Steel, Plastic, Galvanized, PET and Poly woven.
    We solve your fastening problems.
    www.straptite.com

    You may never know what results will come from your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results... Rudy Malan 05/03/2011

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    Full Member Cream's Avatar
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    A shift from a traditional CRT screen to a flat screen of the same size
    That is the comparison you need to make - CRT and flat screen of the same size.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    I remember a representative of a particular South African power company said a volcano which is “natural” can do more damage in 1 day then what there PowerStation can do in its lifetime and you would have to remove all the filtration systems too.

    Carbon gas can be absorbed by plants and the plans can produce oxygen again. My problem with carbon tax is it is unfair. We do not have SAFE alternative transport, our government is responsible for new energy development programs and I am yet to see 1 solar plant a proper one and not just a bunch of wind turbines.

    So we must now pay money to breath in oxygen but there is no green program, no planting of big beautiful trees nothing just if the grass gets long they burn it and I just cannot help but wonder how much damage it does to our air quality we breath because they don’t care and they don’t pay for fines because they ARE the municipality.

    So I say until we can SEE the solar pants being build until we can see new vegetation and until we have a SAFE and WORKING public transport system this BS.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    As for green IT? IT is impossible, yes we can get everything to run cool and on low amounts of energy BUT fabrication per 1 system will consume allot of poisons and petroleum products. So for every PC you see on a table you can imagine about 10 letters or more of waste products some of them deadly. Not to mention the amount of electricity that was used in the production process.

    See it is good advice for a company to use a computer because they can use a typewriter that uses no electricity at all but speed will be a thing of the past. The copper network cable you use also produced massif amounts of waste products. Not to mention notebooks use external power-supplies not to mention it uses a battery that ALSO had chemical treatment and all that. “AND it is an expendable” thus more waste.

    Don’t get me wrong you have sound and proper ideas on how to make your company run better but look at the system itself. It is not us that need to start with the cleaning process. It really is the manufacturer that must find better ways to build these systems.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Full Member Cream's Avatar
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    No doubt anything 'Green' has become a fact of money making and scams, unfortunately some people are none the wiser when it comes to making the right decisions.

    Having said that, there are suppliers, manufacturers and companies doing their bit, but they could be doing more.

    About two years ago I had no idea that leaving your cell phone charger plugged in without the phone being connected still uses power. My phone charger is no longer connected unless I need to use it, the point is creating awareness.
    Last edited by Cream; 30-Nov-10 at 07:32 PM.

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    The figures on the Portable TV versus the Flat screen interested me...

    So I did an experiment, my 21" flat screen monitor consumes 30W. My old 17" CRT consumes 73W. Maybe it does work in the realm of TVs because of the sound systems?

    But I'd still prefer to watch TV on the Flat screen, especially environmental programmes!

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    Gold Member Martinco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazfuzz View Post
    The figures on the Portable TV versus the Flat screen interested me...

    So I did an experiment, my 21" flat screen monitor consumes 30W. My old 17" CRT consumes 73W. Maybe it does work in the realm of TVs because of the sound systems?

    But I'd still prefer to watch TV on the Flat screen, especially environmental programmes!
    Just a question...............the flat screen, is it a plasma, lcd or led ?
    I think from the first to the last makes a huge difference in power consumption.
    As I said, on my 40" plasma, the indication is 400 w if used on "high power" ( brighter picture )
    Martin Coetzee
    Supplier of Stainless Steel Band and Buckle and various fastening systems. Steel, Plastic, Galvanized, PET and Poly woven.
    We solve your fastening problems.
    www.straptite.com

    You may never know what results will come from your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results... Rudy Malan 05/03/2011

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