Create a "Green Network" - Save Money, Power, and the Environment
You might think a business "going green" means it has to replace most of its IT equipment, pay a premium for "green-certified" furniture and office supplies, stop using paper, reduce its power use by over 50% somehow, start buying carbon credits…
Hold on! There are ways of reducing your environmental impact without such drastic measures. In fact, working on 1 angle – reducing your power consumption
– not only helps the environment, it helps your budget.
We're talking about reducing the amount of power used by your networking hardware. Servers, routers, switches, backup devices, employee desktops…all running 24/7/365. That's a lot of power, draining away dollars. Wouldn't it be nice to get some of that back?
All That Power May Not Be Necessary
Yes, most of these devices must be kept running in order for your company to function. However, you could be wasting a lot of power in two areas:
1. Running power-hungry older servers (and even newer servers) known to run hot
2. Wasted power in your existing IT setup
There are ways to cut back on that wasted power. One is to replace the older devices with new, more power-efficient ones. (And recycle the old servers, too!) Another is to reconfigure your networking hardware to lower its power use. Let's take a look at a few examples of doing both.
Use Less Power by Replacing Old Systems
This isn't just replacing an old server with a newer one. Thanks to the industry pace, current technology allows you to dramatically shrink the number of systems needed. And still keep the same capacity.
- Replace 3-9 physical servers with 1 virtualized, long-lasting server. Virtualization cuts down on power consumption and manufactured plastics.
- Switch from PBX to VoIP. VoIP phone systems reduce the number of wires, power use, and space needed.
- Move to low-power/"greener" networking hardware. Major suppliers like 3Com, Cisco, Netgear, and Force10 have been racing each other to bring greener routers/switches/etc. to market.
How to Reduce Power in an Existing IT Setup
Even without new technology, there are still areas to shave power consumption down in most networks. Lower power outputs by:
- Turn off unused/unnecessary services in your server configurations.
- Turn off unused ports on your routers and switches. These ports may be pulling power—and then wasting it.
- Replace old air conditioning with new, high-efficiency systems.
- Enforcing a Mandatory Shutdown/Sleep Mode policy. All users must shut down computers when not in use. (A 2009 1E survey found nearly half of all US workers still don't turn their PCs off at night!) If the computer needs to stay on for some reason, it must be set to enter sleep mode after 10-15 minutes of inactivity.
- Switch to hosted plans (for email, web hosting, SBS, VoIP, etc.). The power in PlanetMagpie's datacenter is already used for existing servers. Adding a new server here uses less than half the power you'd use in-house.
The Advantages in Green Networking
Obviously, lower power consumption means a lower energy bill.
(There's an added bonus too—lower cooling costs.
Since there's less heat-generating hardware to cool!)
This leads to several "green advantages" right away:
- A more flexible IT budget
- Less chance of a crash (Fewer places to have problems)
- Easier to backup (Virtual servers can be imaged every day)
- Lowered replacement costs from longer equipment life
- And you're helping to save the world!
Do your part – without doing anything extra! Call PlanetMagpie at 408-341-8770 to find out how to "go green" with your network today.