Evergreen guide to green IT guides

Summary:Haven't done a post, recently, on books intended to provide green IT best practices, but noticed a new "open source" title and that prompted me to recap and and revisit some green IT guides I've mentioned before here in one post that you can visit when you need to find some refresher information. (I will update this post periodically when I come across new books.

Haven't done a post, recently, on books intended to provide green IT best practices, but noticed a new "open source" title and that prompted me to recap and and revisit some green IT guides I've mentioned before here in one post that you can visit when you need to find some refresher information. (I will update this post periodically when I come across new books.)

So, here is my virtual bookshelf to some Green IT titles that might be useful for various members of your organization trying to link management to green principles. The new one is first, but otherwise these titles are in no particular order and I've linked to my original posts so you can find a bit more information:

  • "Greening IT: How Greener IT Can Form a Solid Foundation for a Low Carbon Society" (Adrian Sobatta, Irene Sobatta, John Gotze and many other contributors)  - The authors of this book are concerned not so much with tools, but rather with policy, best practices and key performance indicators that might help an IT organization figure out whether its energy-efficiency policies and other green IT initiatives are working effectively. They note in an introduction: "IT offers tantalizing technical solutions to our emissions and growth dilemma: it can grow greener and help with the greening of other industries. This book explores this potential." Here are some of the sample chapter names: "Why Green IT is Hard," "How IT Contributes to the Greening of the Grid," and (a very important one) "From KPIs to the Business Case - Return on Investment on Green IT." The cool thing about this book is that it is, essentially, a collaboration and it is a creative commons licensed book, which means you can download chunks that pertain to what you're doing.
  • "The Green and Virtual Data Center" (Greg Schulz) - As I reported in January 2009, this is a very how-to oriented book written by a long-time enterprise data center analyst (and founder of StorageIO Group). The topics covered include how cloud-based storage and computing will contribute to green IT, strategies for intelligent and adaptive power management, and tiering strategies for your servers, storage and networks. Schulz really focuses on how what you're already doing might apply to energy efficiency objectives, not on whether or not you should adopt a formal green IT strategy.
  • "Better Green Business: A Handbook for Environmentally Responsible Business Practices" (Eric Olson) - At first blush, it may seem as if this is a book far too general for your IT team. But the author, Eric Olson, is an IT strategist who has worked on many e-business and e-commerce infrastructure projects. His tips are very much rooted in the IBM Green Sigma approach for running a green business, which as you might imagine draws heavily on the use of technology to keep things on track.
  • "Foundation of Green IT" (Marty Poniatowski) - Poniatowski is the chief technology officer of data center integration and innovation company Computer Design & Integration. (Disclosure, I have done some writing work for the CDI marketing team. But to leave this book off this list would be weird.) The book uses real-world case studies from CDI's work in consolidation, virtualization, and power and cooling design as illustrations of the principles it preaches. You can download the first chapter by registering on the CDI Web site.
  • "Green Tech: How to Plan and Implement Sustainable IT Solutions" (Lawrence Webber, Michael Wallace) - This is a very basic book, from what I can tell. It offers information on the legal ramifications of green computing and suggests ways to win over senior management with business cases. One thing that I'll note of interest, because it isn't really covered in the other books, is the focus on how to plan NOW for disposal of equipment at the end of its life. Even though many IT departments still have a rather ad hoc way of disposing of technology, more than half of the U.S. states now have electronic waste disposal laws, so this is definitely an area you need to bone up on. The writers have good credentials and like most of the authors on this list have direct experience in solving green IT problems. (Webber wrote this as a senior project manager at Insight Corp., and Wallace is vice president of application engineering at Result Data.)
  • Green IT: Reduce Your Information Systems' Environmental Impact While Adding to the Bottom Line (Toby Velte, Anthony Velte) - Toby Velte, a business development executive for Avanade, is one of the authors of this tome that includes topics such as power consumption issues, tips for the greening process, and granular information about the specific green business efforts of several companies such as Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard and Rackspace. It provides a great grounding for anyone trying to get their arms about where to start.
  • The Greening of IT: How Companies Can Make a Difference for the Environment (John Lamb) - Written by a senior technical staffer with IBM’s Global Business Services division in Somers, N.Y., this one offers up a step-by-step process for how your organization might achieve its green IT goals. The first thing you might want to do is flip to the back where there’s a Green IT Checklist and recommendations for structuring and writing up your own plan.
  • Grow a Greener Data Center (Douglas Alger) - This one is from Cisco Press, which is a technology imprint of Pearson Education, and the author wrote it when he couldn't find anything similar on his own bookshelf. It is meant to be a compilation of best practices and techniques for optimizing the energy efficiency of servers, network equipment, storage and physical infrastructure. And, it applies both to existing data centers AND brand new projects.
  • And, what list would be complete with out a Dummies title? There IS one. It's called Green IT for Dummies (Carol Baroudi, Jeffrey Hill) - As you might expect, this is a rather basic title with instructions for how to perform energy audits and how to develop a green IT plan. But it also focuses on "IT for green," such as collaboration tools that could cut the need for corporate travel. Carol Baroudi is an analyst with the Aberdeen Group and Jeff Hill has almost 30 years of experience in IT.

If you know of other, better, books by all means reach out directly, so I can add them or mention them. We could all stand to learn from each other about green IT.

Topics: Data Centers


Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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