4D's CEO, Jack Bedell-Pearce, gives his top tips on how to be greener with your IT equipment.
Computer systems can use a huge amount of electricity to run, so the best tactic for making your computer system more eco-friendly is to make it more energy efficient and decrease the amount of energy it needs, reducing its environmental impact.
1. Electricals and lighting
Counter-intuitively, this first green tech tip, isn't about the computer system itself, but the systems around it. You should check if you're using fluorescent or incandescent lights in your comms room. If you are, consider an upgrade to an energy saving alternative.
Additionally, you need to review your cooling equipment. An older air conditioning system which is 8-9 years old might be significantly less energy efficient than more modern equipment. You could even upgrade to a water-cooled system or an adiabatic cooling system to significantly reduce the energy you use.
2. Existing hardware
As well as reducing energy use, this also has the added benefit of upgrading your hardware, boosting your system's performance and reliability.
It may be worth taking a review of your current IT hardware. If your servers are over 5-6 years old or the performance is on the slower side, you could upgrade to something with a more efficient CPU.
Alternatively, there’s the option of a private cloud solution where you can virtualise all of your legacy servers into Virtual Machines (VMs).
3. Colocate your hardware in a data centre
Data centres already have the most eco-friendly systems in place as they are incredibly energy-efficient. They are specifically designed to be the ideal environment for hosting servers, so they are equipped with advanced cooling systems, and eco-conscious facilities like automatic lights.
They can also help you with the migration from legacy hardware into VMs. One of the other many benefits of colocation is savings you can make in power and maintenance which you would otherwise incur if colocating hardware on-premises.
Your next step
Anything you do to make your computing system more energy efficient will help the environment, so consider what you're able to do in the short term. Your long-term strategy will require you to factor in the greenness of your system alongside your other business-critical and upgrade requirements, but a good long-term solution is migrating to a data centre where they can host your system in a specialised and eco-friendly facility.