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The Green IT Action Plan

 

Author : Nitin Mishra
Date : May 09,2016
Category : General



As an organization you need to have buy-in of the entire staff and senior management to go green and establish green IT practices across locations. In principle buy-in is a given due to high level of awareness of importance of going green. To convert the intent into action Where do you start? The first step is to make a Green IT Action Plan. A Green IT Action Plan will help you understand the various IT systems and solutions in place, the energy and space being consumed and a complete overview of the present carbon footprint of the organization.
Several industry reports, best practices of organizations adopting eco-friendly ways, and research indicate that the following steps will help an organization achieve an optimal Green IT environment.

  • Chalk out the long-term vision of the company for going Green
  • Make a comprehensive long-term plan on the initiatives you have in mind, and a time frame that will be involved in bringing about this change. Keep a realistic 3-year to 5-year time frame
  • Analyze the changes required; does it require drastic change in technology and IT infrastructure. Do these changes align with the long-term business goals of the organization? Ensure that your plan is flexible and that you should not end up in a position of relooking at technology again, after making the decision
  • Identify the right partners to work with you. These partners must be experts in emerging green technologies and their solution proposition must align with your overall plan as well as your business goals
  • Join Industry groups that are actively into propagating green IT concepts. This will help you understand what other organizations are doing and the international best practices and benchmarks
  • Make a rollout plan that is in phases. This will help you run the organization as usual, without any sudden increase in budgets and measure the impact and changes at the end of each phase. This is most certainly better than a sudden, overnight big change across the organization
  • Regularly compare the progress with your long term plan to see the difference you will be making in energy consumption, infrastructure and other costs and if and how this change is affecting business performance and agility
  •  You must map the cost benefit of your Green IT initiatives. For each initiative, estimate the degree of progress it will generate toward your organization’s green IT goals, and estimate the cost, complexity, and time frame required to implement the change.
  • Another important aspect of your Green IT Action Plan is to associate with the right vendors. Work with experts to develop a robust, workable plan and start of your mission of going ‘green’.
  • And lastly, evaluate your green IT initiatives according to the following checklist:

 

1) DATA CENTER:

Consolidate datacenters

Revamp datacenter architecture and infrastructure

Optimize rackspace

Optimize light, heating and cooling in the datacenter: use air-side or water-side economizers
Improve datacenter airflow – hot aisle/cold aisle, raised floor, plenums, blanking panels

Simplify datacenter cabling

 

2) COMPUTING ARCHITECTURE and PLATFORMS:

Consolidate and virtualize applications servers, network and storage devices

Move from distributed computing based on individual PCs [back?] to thin client (client/server) architecture

Deploy energy-efficient servers including multi-threading processors and CMP technology

Deploy new low-energy-consumption desktops, LCD monitors and laptops

Implement server and PC (or Mac) power management

Automate server switch-offs/switch-ons:

  • Collect power usage data from servers
  • Track shifts in usage and variations in Internet traffic
  • When usage or traffic spikes up or down, automatically switch servers on or off accordingly

Implement power management techniques:

  • Workload management software to meter power usage and trending data
  • Power caps on servers to optimize energy use and application performance

 

3) POWER MANAGEMENT:

Implement energy-efficient power metrics*

Deploy modular uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system design or Flywheel battery operated UPS

Implement DC power in place of AC power wherever possible

Operate equipment at higher voltages: 208V instead of 120V

 

4) OTHER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:

Harvest rainwater for use in cooling operations

Site selection to ensure not to use sensitive site elements and restrictive land types

Obtain as much power as possible from renewable resources

Institute Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)-compliant policy*

* Benchmarks

 

 




Author : Nitin Mishra

Nitin Mishra heads the product management and solutions engineering functions at Netmagic Solutions. During his nine years with the company, he has been responsible for conceptualizing and packaging hosting and managed services focused on IT infrastructure requirements of Internet and Enterprise applications.