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Most organizations are aware of how much energy their IT infrastructure consumes, but there are a few not-so-obvious ways to save energy, cut costs, and reduce your overall carbon footprint.
Switch to Flat-Panel Monitors
Using flat-panel monitors over CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitors can significantly reduce energy costs. Georgetown University’s IT Department replaced its CRT monitors with flat-panel monitors in 2003. The replacement saved them $50,000 a year on their electric bills, reducing electricity use by 82%.
More efficient desktop systems use less power. For example, flat-panel monitors have technology built-in to conserve energy while they’re not in use. It’s important to configure the power-saving function, regardless of what type of desktop computer you’re using.
Hire a Third-Party Network Center
Using a third-party network center can reduce your power and utility costs. Rackspace and Amazon EC1 are both an example of third-party providers. For many businesses, using this type of hosted server solution is less expensive than operating their own hardware directly. However, the disadvantage is that you must depend on the third-party provider for maintenance and physical security.
Unplug and Turn Off Machines
When you leave devices, such as computers, printers, and monitors on, you’re using excessive power, which leads to higher electricity bills. To save energy, unplug these devices; simply turning them off can still draw power, so remember to unplug monitors and printers to reduce power consumption and increase cost savings and electricity.
Virtualize and Move to the Cloud
By consolidating physical machines and using the power of cloud computing, you can eliminate machinery and cut power costs. EMC, a company that helps businesses use cloud computing to manage their IT departments in a cost-efficient way, consolidated from 1,250 to 250 servers. The transition reduced space requirements by 60%, as well as reducing power and cooling costs by 70%. As a result, EMC estimates they will save approximately $3.5 million in power and cooling over the next five years.
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