The phrase "going green" conjures up images of short showers, small houses, tiny cars—basically, minimal consumption. But according to Albert Esser, Vice President of Power and Data Center Infrastructure Solutions at Dell, green IT is a different story.
IT centers are constantly growing. As computers become more and more integrated into office life, the need for company data centers also grows. You might think that an increase in data-center size necessarily leads to greater power consumption, but Esser says that doesn't have to be the case.
If data centers use virtualization programs (such as VMWare) that take a single physical server to mimic 40 virtual machines, efficiency can drastically increase. In some cases, it can grow by up to 40%. Dell's IT center in Austin, Texas is on track to have 7,500 virtualized machines.
Equally important is the age of data center equipment. "If you refresh hardware frequently,you can deal with IT growth along with advancements in capability," Esser says. Replacing hardware and implementing virtualization technologies might not be cheap, but Esser's experience at Dell shows that it pays off bigtime.
Dell's IT tactics have helped the company reach its goal of carbon neutrality (achieved in 2008) and have saved $53 million over 3 years. Carbon emissions have also remained steady over the same period. "We believe that power savings can go up without sacrificing growth," Esser explains. "We can't afford not to be green."
So if you're worried that greening your IT services will cost you money and efficiency, think again. It could be the thing that lets you expand your data center without expanding costs.
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