06 August 2012

Efficient IT is green IT, says Quiss Technology

Cloud computing is being offered as a solution to almost every IT issue, but its potential for sustainable IT is one of the more interesting, according to Matt Rhodes, commercial services manager at IT outsourcing specialist Quiss Technology.

"I believe that green IT shouldn't merely focus on lowering energy consumption, just to tick the 'saving the environment' box," states Rhodes.

"Green IT is about more than that. It's important that any reduction in IT resources that does not affect the ability of the IT system to perform the functions for which it is designed, is seen as part of a sustainable IT solution," he continues.

For him, cloud computing offers the promise of greater efficiency and agility in delivering IT services, due essentially to its economy of scale. "Organisations only pay for what they need, scaling up or down as their requirements change," he explains.

However, Rhodes also warns that any manufacturer choosing cloud computing for its green credentials must be careful that the service provider shares the same commitment to green IT.

"The pursuit of green IT becomes a little pointless if the service provider has data centres full of old, inefficient, under-used servers running up huge energy bills," he observes.

Rhodes notes that cloud services rely on huge data centres, accounting for almost 1.5% of global electricity consumption – with this expected to quadruple in the next 10 years.

"Traditionally, servers run at only 15% capacity, wasting large amounts of energy to power them and the space to house them. To try and mitigate this increase, it is essential we look to maximise server usage through virtualisation."

But IT managers know it's not even just about virtualisation. And Rhodes concedes that fact, pointing to modern power management software and newer, higher efficiency server technology, both designed to improve the sustainability of IT.

However, he also insist that it's not as simple as simply ripping and replacing old for new, because that creates its own financial and ecological problems.

"The cloud has a part to play, but it is not necessarily the ultimate solution many think it is. The future isn't just green IT, but efficient IT. What we have to work towards is delivering infrastructure and systems that operate much closer to capacity and offer the ability for scaling up or down quickly to minimise wastage," he says.

And for him, that's about understanding the potential of cloud computing, but also newer solutions on premise.

"Efficient IT will use less energy, fewer resources, optimise the supply chain and deliver viable end of life solutions for obsolete hardware," comments Rhodes.

Brian Tinham

Supporting Information

Quiss Technology plc

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