Use Technology Efficiently



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Efficient use of Information Technology

Efficient use of Information Technology

Efficient Information Technology

Efficient IT  assists with saving money, saving energy, save on cooling, reduces long term hardware spend, reduce carbon emissions, save space and avoid infrastructure upgrades

· Efficient IT can be applied by equipment manufacturers, IT sales personnel, system administrators, IT project contract authors and project managers

· Power measurement can be done at a single power point for $30. Power of a building can be had for $100 with consumption shown on wireless display every 6 seconds.

· Save ~ 60% of PC power consumption by having screen and disk power management, Sleep and / or hibernate enabled and shutdown computers at the end of the day.

· A sample laptop power consumption is 45 W when active, 30 W when idle, 20 W when screen / disk power management realised, and 1.5 W when Sleeping.

· Modern servers can now support 100+ Virtual Machines, with a small Storage Area Network can consume in total 1540 W. Each virtual server saves about $1000 in power per year (including cooling needs and UPS overheads)

· Virtual Machines stored on a SAN can be accessed by multiple servers equally. SAN bandwidth of 400 MB/seconds is possible.

· Australian examples of server consolidation using virtualization are: 70:35, 54:7, 85:20, 40:10, 100:53 (physical servers before and after)

· Blade servers can put 64 CPU's into a 6 rack unit enclosure (8 blades, 2 quad processor per blade). This could support 500 thin client users.

· VMware Infrastructure 4 allows for > 10 virtual machines per processor, disaster recovery abilities, high availability and power saving options.

· VMware Vmotion allows virtual machines to be moved between physical servers while live. This can be used for maintenance or when 1 physical server fails the virtual machines can start in another server automatically.

· VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler allows in quiet periods for virtual machines to move to a smaller number of physical servers and then shutdown some servers that are not required. These servers can start up automatically and have VM assigned to it when the requirements increase. For night and weekend low load requirements can save 40% in power in the server room.

· Simple green choices include turning on PC power management, changes screensavers to none, buying Energy Star computers, use laptops instead of desktop as they usually use less power, turn off unused peripherals, turn off devices at power point to stop phantom/standby loads, turn off monitor when not in use and measure your power consumption.

· A power board ($40) exists that can be controlled by USB power for the PC. This allow for peripherals to power up only when the PC power up.

· 80 Plus is a standard for computer power supplies with at least 80% efficiency. Choosing this sort of power supply can save you up to 28% of electricity used by the PC. The return on extra investment is less than 12 months. This efficiency is very important in the era of 500 to 600 Watt power supplies that are now common. 80 Plus power supplies also make less heat that may have to be dealt with by cooling.

· Thin Clients allow connection to a virtual machine session such as Windows XP or Vista. They only use ~ 11 Watts, can do VOIP telephony and use minimal network bandwidth ~ 25 kb / second average. They can be clipped to the back of TFT screen which saves desk space.

· Compared to Business PC's, a 20 user thin client setup including server saves over 55% in electricity. Note thin clients per server can be higher than 500:1.

· Energy Star Rating 4.0 is a standard for Desktop and Notebook computers in terms of maximum power usage when idle, in sleep and in standby. It also includes power management being enabled with set maximum times for monitor sleep (15 minutes) and PC sleep (30 minutes).

· Computer S3 Sleep state is when processor is almost off with power to memory and everything else possible being off. S4 Sleep state (hibernate) is when contents of memory is saved to disk and computer is then powered down. S3 is quick to resume operations; S4 is safe against data loss due to blackout.

· BIOS settings for best power savings include: Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) is Enabled, Smart Fan is Enabled, Suspend Mode is S3, Speed Step / Cool n quiet is Enabled. Modern motherboards are getting better at making these settings the default.

· Power Management Software exists to set Group Policies for allowing control of power management options on Windows 7 / XP computers. Savings of ~ $6700 per 100 desktops possible with this type of adminstration.

· Network Attached Storage now can have some basic server functions with much less power consumption. E.g. 17 W in operation, 6 W in sleep mode. This is only suitable in small networks.

· Equipping an office with efficient equipment can save in cooling system sizing / capital costs and running costs.

· New processors such as Intel Atom, Via Eden and ARM can run using only a few Watts. These can be found in PDA's, smart phones, tablets and small laptops.

· There are many used of IT that is benefitting the community. This should be considered against the energy use in its lifetime.


Link to full Power Point Presentation 2.5 MB


Resources Power Management Software Building energy meter