The Greenback might be Floundering but Green IT is Proving Profitable

We have all pondered, postulated, and probably even pouted a bit during this current economic crisis. Even so, isn’t it time we just realize that the crisis might be beneficial for IT? While I don’t like it, I personally think it comes at a great time. Green IT has come a long way since those Energy Star ratings on monitors, and we all love it; don’t we? Of course we do. Who really wants to waste energy, efficiency and especially greenbacks in these times? But how should we be thinking about Green IT now and into the future?

In a recent press release, Gartner equated the green data centre of tomorrow to that of a living organism. In that press release, Rakesh Kumar, vice president at Gartner, says, “Tomorrow’s data centre is moving from being static to becoming a living organism, where modeling and measuring tools will become one of the major elements of its management.”

In a nutshell, the press release made the point that a data centre, if it is to be truly green, should live and breathe–giving or taking additional power, cooling, floor space, and resources as needed. While a living, breathing, and dynamic data centre is still a bit futuristic, I did begin to postulate how embedded systems should act as small internal nervous systems within the data center that detect and regulate power consumption according to how application resources need them.

If we continue on our current path of doubling energy costs every five years, Gartner finds that power consumption in data centre will increase 1,600% between 2005 and 2025. Since technology enables how IT operates, reducing forecasted increases in energy will decidedly influence its future success or failure. The need for IT to consider variable-cost and alternative delivery and sourcing models will play an ever-increasing role in reducing costs and provide, what Kumar calls, a greener IT organism.

Barbara Gomolski, another Vice President at Gartner states, “The traditional acquisition model of buying hardware and software and then depreciating it over time does not allow organizations to quickly shift its IT investments or cut costs rapidly.” Therefore it is imperative for companies to take advantage of technology as a service (TaaS) options. This will likely breathe new life into many stagnate IT data centers while enabling the data center to cut costs and act more like a living organism.

While energy and the environment may have been the driving force for regulations and getting us where we are today, let’s not forget that a major initiative for companies to adopt green technology is the cost savings. A recent report from Accenture showed that companies can achieve substantial cost and power savings by implementing Green IT. In this report, Accenture demonstrated how:

  • One company reduced the number of servers across its data centers from 1,635 to 386
  • A second company:
    • Reclaimed 88% of its R&D data center floor space
    • Reduced its power consumption by over 60%
    • Avoided more than $9 million in construction costs
  • Still a third company:
    • Reduced its acquisition costs by putting off the purchase of 1000 nodes
    • Implemented a “power-off” policy that saved 26% of power on a per-machine basis

Companies looking to experience the benefits of Green IT need to look no further than vendors like 3PAR that are on the forefront of delivering innovative technology solutions that provides levels of agility and efficiency that can drastically change IT environments. Satisfying green IT initiatives, operational agility and cost confinement is one of 3PAR‘s primary objectives, as evidenced by its Thin Provisioning feature. 3PAR’s Thin Provisioning enables companies to provision virtual capacity to applications once and refrain from purchases of additional physical capacity until the pool of available physical capacity is sufficiently consumed by application data. No longer do companies need to prededicate physical capacity to applications until it is absolutely necessary fro written data.  With Thin Provisioning, companies can simplify the provisioning of storage during periods of peak demand, reduce the data centre energy footprint to become greener, and eliminate purchasing and deployment delays.

Take Hilton Grand Vacations Club who recently won the award for Green Computing Best Practices at Storage Networking World last month.  As a 3PAR customer leveraging green storage technology like Thin Provisioning, Hilton was able to save 60% on the cost of power, cooling, and housing their equipment and enabled them to meet their green IT objectives.

If you have not considered Green Storage Technology, 3PAR offers a couple of incentives for you to do so.  Their Carbon Neutral Storage Program funds the purchase of offsets on your behalf equivalent to one metric ton of CO2 for each terabyte of 3PAR Utility Storage sold with 3PAR Thin Provisioning. The outcome is effectively 100% carbon neutral storage.  3PAR then provides you a Certificate of Carbon Offset in your company’s name for your office, lobby or boardroom.

If you are in Northern or Central California, you can also participate in 3PAR’s Virtual-Technology Incentive Program (V-TIP program).  Through V-TIP, the local power utility (Pacific Gas and Electric) provides financial incentives to 3PAR customers for deploying Thin Provisioning and other thin technologies from 3PAR.  The PG&E rebates are based on the amount of energy savings achieved.

So if you have not considered green storage and its cost saving benefits, there is no better time than now. Check out the variety of 3PAR Environmental Programs; it’s a good place to start.

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