Eco-friendly makes cents

What do you look for in a server? Performance? Ease of use?

What do you look for in a server? Performance? Ease of use? Security? Companies like AMD, Dell Computer, Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems, now want us to also consider energy consumption as a key buying criterion. You could see going green as part of corporate social responsibility, or even a political move like those made in the United States. But, it can also be motivated by very selfish reasons, especially since choosing eco-friendly technology means IT cost savings, says Robert Worrall, CIO of Sun Microsystems, in a recent interview. Eco-friendly technology drives costs down because it creates a smaller carbon footprint and consumes less energy. Worrall says many CIOs in the U.S. are doing it largely to save money. But be warned: The next time you go shopping for a server, check that green is on the menu. It is still rare for vendors to indicate the energy use of servers, according to Worrall. This means IT buyers will have to ask for specific data on power consumption. The good news is, more hardware companies are being asked these questions, so they should be prepared with answers. Several vendors are now also issuing press releases that tout improvements in energy efficiency for the energy-conscious, so I don't see why IT buyers should be the first to raise the questions. To find out more about energy consumption and eco-friendly technology, check out these useful resources:
The Green Grid--A consortium of companies seeking to improve energy efficiency in data centers around the globe.
Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation--The organization's Power and Performance committee has begun development of the first generation SPEC benchmark for evaluating the energy efficiency of server-class computers.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency--The agency's Energy Star 4.0 regulations go into effect on Jul. 20, 2007. They require, among other things, that a PC's power supply converts 80 percent of incoming electricity into usable computer power in order to be declared energy efficient. What do you think of these latest eco-friendly initiatives? About time companies paid some attention to going green, or is it not worth the effort? Share your views here, or drop me an e-mail.