Green IT: Small Steps for Achieving Green IT Operations

Green IT solutions are applicable to businesses of all sizes because they allow for lower costs, better hardware utilization, and more. For most companies, the trouble with switching to energy-efficient, reduced-waste options lies in a lack of understanding regarding current hardware, processes, and capabilities. Green IT is not just about what a company can buy to boost efficiency, it also requires becoming familiar with hardware capabilities, software quality and efficiency, or current processes to determine where improvements are possible.

In order to save money and be environmentally conscious, companies need to be capable of minimizing the impact of utilized technology by attaining a higher level of efficiency. Six technology trends have proven their worth when it comes to mitigating the environmental impact of IT:

  • Virtualization
  • Consolidation
  • De-duplication
  • Cloud Computing
  • Software Quality Management
  • Information Lifecycle Management

These green IT practices deliver low-cost improvement opportunities and aid in the management of data without subjecting organizations to increased power consumption resulting from hardware additions.

How Do These Trends Support Green IT?

While hardware consistently evolves to become more energy efficient and support green IT strategies, the technology that companies currently use may be optimized to avoid excessive expenses as well as prevent further power consumption. Virtualization allows multiple operating systems to be run on a single server and decreases the amount of hardware necessary to support operations or data storage needs. This is especially true in data centers where the amount of data being stored grows exponentially.

Systems are frequently installed to achieve higher performance, redundancy, or ensure availability, thus resulting in increased energy use. With virtualization and consolidation, companies are able to address inefficiencies at a lower cost without increasing environmental harm. Cloud computing also supports green IT strategies as operations making use of this technology decrease the need for further hardware, which in turn limits energy use and costs.

Substandard software programming, especially in frequently used enterprise software, can consume more hardware resources than necessary. Excessive calls and code that causes the system to crash can quickly increase a company's carbon footprint. By focusing on the structural quality of software, companies can find and improve the efficiency of their applications' underlying code, as well as reduce defects that cause outages.

Information lifecycle management (ILM) is the process of applying automated intelligence to achieve power savvy information storage during the entire data lifecycle. Automated intelligence allows business-critical or real-time information to be stored on a reliable performance-driven system while less pertinent data is stored or migrated to systems consuming less energy.

De-duplication cuts back the amount of storage and energy utilized for the creation of multiple copies or variations of the same file to ensure the most minimal amount of stored data. Additional technologies and approaches are available to aid in increasing system efficiency for green IT; however, these have made their mark and are a viable option for any organization.

Learn more about CAST's Green IT Index here.

Green IT Index Tile   Green IT Index evolution