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Energy Efficient IT Report

University Business, May 2012

The goal of being more energy efficient is not just fashionable. It’s sensible. There are cost savings to be realized from energy efficiency solutions. The fourth annual CDW-G Energy Efficient IT Report shows that savings are being realized by higher ed institutions that have implemented solutions, with 71 percent of surveyed schools reporting having reduced their data center energy costs by 1 percent or more. The report is based on a survey of 760 IT professionals from several sectors, including higher ed. 

People have been banging the energy reduction drum for years, but educational opportunities still exist. Green IT is easier than people realize, says Andy Lausch, vice president of higher education at CDW-G. “The perception doesn’t match the reality.”
This year’s report includes a solutions ease ratings map that shows the intersection between gaining approval for and implementing a particular kind of project. Sure, items such as using Energy Star-rated equipment are low-hanging fruit. Lausch says many plain vanilla solutions, like activating energy-saving tools integrated into systems, haven’t been done.

The largest reduction in energy consumption has come from virtualized servers/storage. “Computing with less equipment saves,” says Lausch. Additionally, 62 percent of respondents agreed cloud computing was an efficiency solution, up from 47 percent last year. While new cooling solutions might be “less glamorous,” they are also very effective in reducing energy consumption.
Campuses getting the most bang for the buck are implementing multiple solutions, Lausch advises. And, fortunately, “the end users of the technology don’t have to do much to be more efficient.” While improving network security relies on users having strong passwords and logging off properly, by contrast, the IT department can set computer hibernation cycles without end users needing to intervene.

All of that allows everyone to put their energy into other projects.

Savings by Solution

IT professionals were asked: As a percentage of total previous power consumption, how much have each of the following solutions reduced your organization's power demand and/or energy consumption?
Virtualized servers/storage 28%
New cooling approaches 22%
Energy-efficient/load-shedding unlimited power supply(UPS) 21%
Consolidated servers 20%
Energy Star qualifying devices 20%
Hardware with newer, low-power/low-wattage processors 17%
Increased use of hosted services 17%
More power-efficient networking equipment 14%

Source: CDW 2012 Energy Efficient IT Report