Greening your network

According to Ian Wilkie, supply chain director at Brand-Rex, getting to grips with ‘green’ is not only desirable, it’s essential because it makes really good business sense.

Tags: Brand-Rex (www.brand-rex.com)
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Greening your network Kennedy Miller, development manager, Brand-Rex
By  Georgina Enzer Published  September 17, 2013

According to Ian Wilkie, supply chain director at Brand-Rex, getting to grips with ‘green’ is not only desirable, it’s essential because it makes really good business sense.

“The subject is one that many companies have ignored, others have just tried to use ‘publicity’ to appear green. These companies are totally missing the point,” he said.

There are massive cost savings for every business to make simply from analysing where in its operations energy and carbon are utilised and emitted; and then starting to reduce the really heavy-duty ones, according to Brand-Rex.

“Our experience over the last ten years in ‘greening’ Brand-Rex operations has led to us becoming the lean, fit organisation that we now are. And this in turn has enabled us to grow significantly whilst most other datacoms infrastructure manufacturers have been shrinking. Now that IT has become the ‘life-blood’ of so many companies and public services, its contribution to energy consumption and carbon footprint is increasingly significant. Data centres are massive culprits here and IT professionals are starting to think seriously about energy reduction, but these things take time. And getting started is the most important thing,” according to Wilkie.

“No-one is expecting every company to be perfectly carbon neutral next week! But if every company makes a few relatively easy adjustments, globally this adds up to a massive impact,” said Stuart Lemmon, head of Advisory Services at Carbon Clear, one of the world’s leading providers of carbon advisory services and carbon offsets agrees.

In many factories the production line is up and running when the morning shift starts, not because someone started it all up but because for ten or more hours every night all the motors, heaters, coolers etc have been running, wasting energy and money.

Network Level

So against this background, how does this affect or impact on IT and network managers in their daily jobs.

“Green IT is about efficiencies and cost reduction really. At the data centre level there are massive cost savings to be made by stopping things using energy when they do not need to,” according to Lemmon.

Virtualisation

According to Brand-Rex, in data centres, the tendency has been to deploy ‘server-per-application’, but in reality this leads to a lot of servers drawing power 24x7 but not doing much for most of the time, putting them at their lowest energy efficiency levels.

Kennedy Miller, development manager at Brand-Rex said that that techniques like server virtualisation are beginning to enable data centre operators to reduce the total number of servers and significantly increase the operating efficiency of the remaining servers and storage devices.

“The ancillary energy needs for cooling, lighting and switch ports are also reduced. This can double the power and carbon reduction,” he said.

Infrastructure

At the network infrastructure level too the choice of products can add to the carbon footprint reduction.

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