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Green IT and use of private cloud computing in South Africa

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1 Author(s)
Lamb, J. ; IBM Global Services, IBM, Somers, NY, USA

Information Technology (IT) is at the heart of every successful modern business. IT is so pervasive, that energy efficiency through the implementation of green IT has moved to center stage for many companies in their pursuit of helping make a difference for the environment. This paper provides an overview on the importance of implementing green IT, the significant and growing role of IT and data centers in the world's consumption of electric energy and carbon footprint, and the significance of using “lessons learned” and best practice approaches for implementing green IT. Green IT is an ideal way for most companies to make a significant step in the green direction for several reasons. First, IT is continually being refreshed as a matter of company policy in order for the company to remain competitive. That refresh cycle is similar to the refresh cycle for our company owned laptops, i.e. every three or four years. Thus, even for a moderately sized company, servers and data storage are continually being replaced. Replacing the IT equipment and upgrading the application architecture with energy efficient systems such as virtual servers, virtual data storage, and efficient application and database structures, can easily reduce IT power consumption for the replaced equipment by 50 percent. A second compelling reason to move to green IT is that virtual server and virtual data storage technology are methods to allow you to reduce equipment and system management costs for your data center. Include private cloud computing for most of your test / development systems and the savings are even greater. So data center green technology is based around a very solid business case without even considering the savings due to reduction in energy costs. Green IT, Green data centers, and the use of cloud computing for energy efficiency are hot-topics, worldwide. IDC forecasts that for every $1 spent on hardware, power and cooling will consume $1 by 2012. This paper desc- ibes power issues at data centers in South Africa based on the author's recent experience. The solutions to these power issues include virtualization of servers and data storage. Cloud computing has become the ultimate way to virtualize IT resources and to save energy. Case study benefits of using private clouds, especially for test and development systems, at companies in South Africa are described.

Published in:

Emerging Technologies for a Smarter World (CEWIT), 2011 8th International Conference & Expo on

Date of Conference:

2-3 Nov. 2011