Thursday, September 6, 2007

Evolving Towards Green

It has taken more than 30 years for the data center to evolve to a point of modularity that is conducive to alignment of efficiencies in use and design across disparate infrastructures. The modern environmental, or “green” movement has also taken 30 years to evolve to a point where the economics of sustainable practices are well-understood. Traditionally, environmentalism has been perceived to be at odds with economic prosperity. Due in part to advances in information technology, communications, computer-aided design (CAD) and planning, this mindset is being challenged in the IT industry today. IT professionals have been asked to do more with less for some time now and therefore are quite familiar with achieving efficiencies in applications and data center operations.

Because there is no global, industry-wide recognized standard today that defines a green data center, each organization needs to define what green means to itself. For the sake of this blog, a data center is generally considered a purpose-built facility or portion thereof that houses a business’s mission-critical applications. A green connotation supposes that the facility has either been retrofitted or initially designed to mitigate its power consumption through the strategic application of available technologies. The long-term goal of the green data center operation is to achieve carbon neutrality.

I've started this blog with the intention of gathering input from a wide range of sources on the topic to facilitate shared learning. Given that green is larger than any one individual or industry, this problem needs to be approached in a collaborative manner. Whether you are a self described "greenie" or not, please contribute your thoughts and best practices on the subject here.

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