The Basics Of Green Computing

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GREEN TECHNOLOGIES is a term that some business leaders believe espouses a back-to-nature philosophy and denounces all industry. However, the reality is much more positive than that. Green Technologies is the reduced environmental impact from running an Information Technology (IT) department. Green is just another term for the efficient use of technologies. (In this case, we are referring primarily to electronic equipment.) Efficient happens to also coincide with lowest cost and most environmentally friendly technologies.

"Green" technologies are nothing special. The key is to know what to look for. Equipment is considered green if it is efficient to operate and easy to dispose of at the end of its useful life. Green technologies save companies money, if viewed over their useful life. For example, an "80 Plus" grade power supply in a desktop computer will save about $30 per year in reduced energy consumption over a "standard" desktop unit. However, there may be a one-time additional cost of about $20 at its purchase. In ad dition, a computer designed for easy material separation at disposal is cheaper to discard at the end of its useful life than one built using a higher level of toxic materials.

There are three primary characteristics of Green Technologies. One or more of these can apply to an IT device (computer, printer, monitor, keyboard, scanner, etc.):

▲ It must use energy efficiently. A piece of equipment with a given level of capabilities can be designed and assembled with an eye toward low purchase price, easy disposal, or energy efficient operation. Unfortunately, many companies emphasize the initial purchase price and not the cost of running the equipment over its three or five year useful life. Therefore, most manufacturers focus on providing the lowest unit price.

▲ It uses the right size equipment for the job. Most people would not use a semitruck instead of an economy class car to drive back and forth to a distant grocery store. It would consume significantly more fuel to accomplish the same amount of work. (Ok, some people would drive the truck no matter what.) The same applies to IT systems. Often an oversized server is purchased to support an application either because it is the company standard or it was available when a server was needed. The larger device consumes more energy than a properly sized unit, yet provides the same amount of benefit to the company.

▲ It includes the cost for the proper disposal of unwanted equipment. Disposal is something rarely considered during a purchase. After all, it is years away. Yet the cost to properly dispose of a device is part of the total cost of unit ownership. Companies may be liable for the cost of landfill cleanup for improper disposal of equipment.

If you want to wrap up the essential messages of this book, it is to use less energy and to properly dispose of old equipment. That's it. Now you can close the book's cover. You now know the "what.." However, if you want to know the "how to do this," then you must read on.

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  • kaarlo
    What is green computing?
    9 years ago

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