Most will agree that green computing is good. But the big questions remain: how do we achieve ‘green-ness’, and what kinds of solutions are out there to help the environment? This article covers the green computing movement, the regulations and standards that are driving change, and provides some examples of solutions that are good for adhering to energy consumption standards and enabling more flexible, less environmentally taxing work.
The need for green
As you are probably already aware, technology pollutes. Power consumption is growing rapidly and so are energy bills. Therefore, business leaders, consumers, and organisations of all kinds have developed a new enthusiasm for environmental consciousness. Awareness is at an all-time high. Across the entire globe people are demanding more environmentally friendly products, while technology manufacturers are delivering solutions that enable high-performance computing that satisfy ecological concerns at the same time. Standards bodies are also creating, and enforcing, better design and disposal methods, and electricity consumption regulations.
Green is good. New initiatives are taking hold and quickly producing results throughout the entire IT industry.
Why Go Green?
Being green – purchasing green equipment, designing and building green solutions, paying attention to energy consumption, and disposing and recycling hardware conscientiously – all helps you:
Save money on energy costs
Comply with government regulations
Meet increasing customer demands for cleaner, more ecofriendly products
Appeal to consumers and partners who want to patronise and associate with green companies.
While those are direct benefits, the ultimate long-term benefits are even more compelling. Caring for the environment and actively taking steps to protect it, benefits the planet, the health of animals, humans, flora, and last but not least, the health and prosperity of future generations.
Each individual can also help by making a contribution in saving power:
Lower electricity consumption by manually or automatically turning off monitors
Use LCD monitors that consume less power than cathode ray tube monitors
Use a laptop, as they consume less power than desktops, and many have connections for full- sized monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers.
Green technology products are designed to save energy and reduce waste. Green products enable smart, automated power consumption reduction on unmanaged and managed switches. When nodes, like servers, clients and storage systems, are attached to specialised switches, they can automatically detect power-down events and stop sending ping packets to the nodes, thereby saving power. Switches such as these also detect cable length and adjust power consumption accordingly. Switch designs usually require a fan to cool the device down. By adopting advanced design, these devices keep themselves cool without the need of a fan.
Routers with a power-saving linkdown mode, and automatic power adjustment based on cable length, are also a great green offering. The wireless local area network can be automatically turned off using the wi-fi scheduler to save power and enhance security. The router’s technology saves power when used as a print server because they allow PCs to be off while sharing printers and storage.