Green computing is the study and practice of using computing resources efficiently [from an environmental and energy perspective]. Typically, technological systems or computing products that incorporate green computing principles take into account the so-called triple bottom line of economic viability, social responsibility, and environmental impact. This differs somewhat from traditional or standard business practices that focus mainly on the economic viability of a computing solution. These focuses are similar to those of green chemistry; reduction of the use of hazardous materials such as lead at the manufacturing stage, maximized energy efficiency during the product's term of use, and recyclability or biodegradability of both a defunct product and of any factory waste. A typical green computing solution attempts to address some or all of these factors by implementing environmentally friendly products in an efficient system. (Wikipedia)
ComputerWorld, 4 February 2008, reports on “Tips for a Leaner, Greener Desktop: Energy efficiency isn’t just for the data center.”
“Although data centers may use more power per square foot, as a percentage of total power consumption, office equipment is the big kahuna...if you look at overall power consumption, you’re seeing almost double for computers and monitors than for data centers.”
“There were an estimated 900 million desktops in use worldwide in 2006…if all of that equipment met the 2007 Energy Star [a voluntary labeling program] 4.0 specification , power consumption would be 27% lower than it would be under 2006 guidelines.”
Here are a number of ways to architect green:
- Power management software—software like NightWatchman or LANDesk puts desktop computers and monitors “into power saving mode after a period of inactivity, overriding any personal setting….another product SMSWakeUp can ‘wake up’ those machines to deliver patches and updates after-hours and then shut them down again when the process is complete.”
- LCD monitors—“dump those CRTS replacing older computers and peripherals with Energy Star-rated equipment can save energy and space, and the decreased power consumption can significantly reduce the need for cooling in office areas. Start with CRT displays. ‘The biggest offenders are the monitors.’”
- Thin clients—“managed thin clients use 30% less energy than nonmanaged PCs...thin clients use less power and space, since they have no disk drives or fans, and the Windows session and applications run on the server.”
- Printing effectively—“Hewlett Packard Co, claims that the energy efficiency of its printers improve 7% to 15% with each new generation. Therefore, replacing older units with new, Energy Star-labeled models can cut costs by as much as 25%...printers are also getting smarter about when to go into low-power mode.” Another method to save energy and paper is to configure printers for duplex mode.
Green IT is good for enterprises and good for the planet. Enterprise architects can help make a difference with green IT solutions for their organizations.