Creme de la GreenTech: My 10 most-read green IT posts this year

The hardest thing about advocating green IT is balancing power efficiency and people efficiency as illustrated by some of these Top 10 Green IT posts.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

OK, so I knew that when I was asked to research which GreenTech Pastures posts have generated the most traffic over the past 12 months that I was at a disadvantage compared with my co-writer Harry Fuller.

After all, Harry gets to write about things like Copenhagen and climate change and East Anglia hackers, which by virtue of their controversial nature drive a ton of what we bloggers fondly refer to as page views and traffic. And nasty comments, thank you very much. Why are people more likely to leave nasty-grams than sweet-grams? Actually, Harry's top post wasn't about any of the topics listed above, the honor went to the following: "What's a wealthy nation spend its money on?"

I, on the other hand, get to write about data center energy efficiency and power management software and e-waste and LEDs. Boring, huh?

Apparently, not so much.

I was gratified and humbled to see that a fair number of you think I actually write about useful things. And my top posts of the year were actually a mix of the above topics PLUS a perennial green topic: the paperless office.

Here are my Top 10 posts for 2009:

  1. Xerox does big companies a solid, solid-ink MFP that is
  2. Dell supersizes its LED monitors
  3. IBM backs research behind Lithium-ion battery alternative
  4. Pssst. Google's data center efficiency secrets. Pass them on.
  5. Some like it hot: Why waste dough cooling down a data center?
  6. Balance of power: Windows 7 walks fine line between saving battery life and alienating users
  7. Deck the halls with LED (actually the most recent of these posts)
  8. Radio Shack: Out with the old to make room for the new
  9. A solar-powered sailboat: Counter-intuitive or just good design?
  10. Pentagon decrees Cree LED

Personally speaking, my favorite three posts out of this batch are #4, #5 and #6, for a couple of reasons.

First off, even though Google keeps certain details of its energy profile secret, like how much electricity it uses, it is wise to share design and best practice tips. This is even more important considering how much attention is being paid to cloud computing, which suggests the presence of fewer bigger data centers. Rather than picking a piece of equipment based on its green credentials, IT managers are going to have to look at a lot more variables.

I loved the piece about data center cooling practices, because it just made sense to me. Excessive cooling is just, well, excessive. Plus, many companies are finding innovative uses for the heat provided by data centers, like heating other buildings.

The Windows 7 story is a great illustration of an ongoing dilemma faced by all of you: juggling the need to save energy with the need not to inconvenience people using technology. We all know how annoyed the general public gets when they have to wait.

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