Green IT… What is it?

Is ‘Green IT’ just another buzz phase within the technology stratosphere? With the industry rapidly evolving, the number of interpretations of the term is increasing, with each growing in complexity

Simplistic explanations centre on the direct reduction of carbon emissions within a business’s IT and wider operational functions. At the other end of the spectrum ‘Green IT’ delves much deeper into the analyses of how efficiently, sustainably and environmentally technology is developed and delivered

One particular sector to have come under the ‘Green IT’ spotlight is the data centre industry. With its often enormous power usage (in comparison to other technology biased market sectors), data centre owners/operators are having to manage their power efficiencies very cautiously. 

Whilst PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) has long been the industry standard for measuring environmental performance of the data centre, it has recently come under some scrutiny where it is set as the benchmark to asses overall data centre efficiency. 

Under the ‘Green IT’ initiatives being steered by multiple governing bodies including the Environment Agency, it is not just PUE that needs to be measured but the overall effectiveness of the reduction of energy consumption for entire infrastructures.  

It won’t be surprising to learn that global $multi-billion ICT solutions provider Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has been well ahead of the curve when it comes to developing systems for ‘Green IT’ environments, addressing the more exhaustive ‘Green IT’ criteria. 

Huawei has cultivated an entire ‘Green Connected World’ vision, which addresses the challenges of big data, traffic and energy consumption. Huawei evaluates the complete technology landscape, taking into account the proposition of digitalisation, networking, intellectualisation and the integration of information technology and power electronic technology.

Investing over 6% of its $9bn turnover in R&D, Huawei has 70,000 out of its 170,000 engineers working in this field. This directly facilitates the development of improving operational efficiency with simple, efficient and reliable network energy solutions. 

The highest levels of effectiveness and efficiency have been built into the natural cycle of the design, development and manufacturer of Huawei’s expansive portfolio of network components, modular data centres, UPS, telecom and IT systems. It is the company’s 30 year heritage and strong engineering ethos that has placed Huawei at the fore of delivering ‘Green IT’ solutions. 

Huawei’s account manager for data centre infrastructure James Coughlan commented: “When it comes to solutions for data centres, Huawei has always looked beyond face value efficiency and invested in achieving the overall reduction of energy consumption from initial component development and manufacture through to operational deployment. 

“The concept of ‘Green IT’ is not new to us but it would seem that the industry has epitomised it as a somewhat convoluted prerequisite. Huawei’s ‘Green Connected World’ vision was established long before the first rumblings of ‘Green IT’.”

Mirroring Coughlan’s sentiments, UPS specialist and exclusive value added partner for Huawei UPS, Power Control’s managing director Mark Trolley said: “In my opinion ‘Green IT’ joins the long list of other buzz phrases that will try to revolutionise the industry’s way of thinking before slowly fizzling out to be replaced by a new idiom. Much like ‘Smart Technology’ – it is largely meaningless, why wouldn’t technology be smart? Why wouldn’t you make a data centre operate as efficiently as possible? 

“Huawei hasn’t led the ‘Green IT’ hypothesis by chance, it has just long recognised the importance of energy efficiency, sustainability and the even greater significance of businesses’ needs to reduce their overall carbon footprint. 

“In line with Huawei’s commitment towards delivering efficient solutions, Power Control also ensures that customers can fully embrace the ‘Green IT’ initiative by helping them to understand the true total cost of ownership (TCO). 

“TCO is an area that has been vastly over looked and subsequently many are running very inefficient operations. When carrying out site surveys we often come across sites where power protection infrastructure equipment is operating at less than 85% overall efficiency, which has a huge financial impact on the overall running of the facility. Initially investing a small premium on efficient systems will reduce TCO and be financially beneficial for the site very early in the operating life of the new equipment.  

“Naturally there is reticence to invest in more efficient solutions and schedule the time for replacement of what may have been a stalwart piece of equipment such as a legacy UPS, which is why Power Control has developed its own intelligent investment solutions. This means there is no “upfront” investment for the client and Power Control take full responsibility of the upgrade, minimising any hassle factor of becoming greener. In addition, there are no uncertainties of investing in capital assets with our solution, which frees up capital for other areas in the business. 

“If funnelling best practice efficiency and carbon footprint reduction through a buzz phrase helps to inspire the industry to make changes for the better then let’s all embrace the great ‘Green IT’ revolution and become as ‘green’ as can be!”