Extending Power Savings Beyond 'Earth Hour'

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


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Earth Hour was created to demonstrate the growing global concern about climate change. While concern is a good thing, IT departments and solution providers around the world can effect lasting power-saving change with a few simple tools and techniques.

On Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. local time, people around the world will shut off their lights for one hour. The goal is to let world leaders know that the citizens of the world are concerned about global warming and unchecked energy consumption.

While silent demonstration may prove to be an effective political statement, there are plenty of ways to do more than just that by just looking at typical business IT practices.

If the real goal is to effect meaningful power-saving change, then adopting some simple practices and rules can have an impact on both the bottom line and saving the world.

Today, technologist can employ some simple techniques to help green up the home and business environment a little more. First and foremost, PC users can enable sleep and hibernation technologies found on most every system to reduce power usage. Solution providers and administrators looking to make that happen can turn to a product like Surveyor from Verdiem to enforce green policies.

But saving a few watts here and there is just the start – IT departments can embrace the recycling of equipment a little more and services like TechTurn can turn those old PCs into dollars and prevent them from adding to landfill waste. 

Disposal of equipment is only one part of the problem, how new pieces of technology are purchased can also have a big impact on green initiatives. Recently, manufactures like Xerox have started to use "reduced waste packaging," where most of the environmentally unfriendly packaging has been eliminated and the remainder is easy to recycle.

The very design of PCs are also starting to have more of a green slant, companies like Lenovo are embracing many green technologies to make their PCs as environmentally friendly as possible.

System builders can jump in the green game by following some simple rules to make their systems just as green as the big guys.

And virtualization technology isn’t just for large enterprises. Microsoft is reporting that small businesses are leveraging virtualization technologies to ensure their servers and storage devices are operating at maximum capacity. This results is having to buy less equipment, which reduces power consumption.

For the technologist, all it takes is a little awareness, a little effort and a little time to expand a one-hour event into a lifetime of savings. Today, information technology consumes a little more than 1 percent of the world’s energy, but it’s one of the fastest growing energy consumers. Solution providers can make a big difference to extend Earth Hour with their customers using simple tools and techniques.


Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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