Being a responsible citizen in a world focused on the environment is difficult when you work in the IT business. How do you recycle bits and bytes?
According to GreenWaste, recycling one ton of paper saves more than 4 mWh of energy. That’s a fair amount of energy, just from recycling garbage.
How would I go around saving the same amount of energy in a data center with as little effort?
Of course, different programs for recycling hardware exist, but although hardware does become outdated in a fast pace, hardware recycling can only do so much.
Recycling, however, can also mean that you use your existing hardware for more. According to a study cited by The New York Times, three quarters of all servers run at less than ten percent utilization.
Instead, squeezing more computing out of your existing equipment will save you money and lower your power bill and environmental impact at the same time.
The thing is, that power spent in a server is not linear. An idle server consumes around 60 per cent of its peak consumption, so putting extra load on existing servers comes at very little cost.
Data center management software will let you identify the under-loaded servers that are your candidates for consolidation. While traditional un-virtualized x86 servers typically run at 5 to 7 per cent load, virtual servers average at 25 to 40 per cent according to a Forbes study. As the power consumption only increases marginally when increasing the load on a server four to five-fold, the return on investment on this is excellent.