To their credit, tech vendors have implemented recycling programs and are starting to provide their customers with information on how to become more “green.” At the political level, governments such as the European Union are passing tougher legislation for companies to manufacture more environmentally-friendly and recyclable products. Canada and the U.S. have yet to pass federal laws on this.
by Sarah Lysecki, writer, itbusiness.ca
Q. What is a green data centre and why should it be on the radar screen for companies?
A. Data centres are heavy consumers of electricity. In a recent Green Data Survey by Symantec, only 49 per cent of respondents reported that they are aware of a green policy adopted by their company, and only one in seven has begun implementing a green data centre.
Matt Fairbanks, senior director
of product marketing, Symantec
Q. How has the green IT movement changed the way customers look at their data centres, and how can Toronto Hydro Telecom help?
A. For this particular (Toronto Hydro Telecom) facility, we’ve geared it to have some energy efficient elements such as flooring systems, air handling equipment, cabinet, high ceilings to allow for heat removal, free air cooling in the data centre.
Ian Collins, vice-president of operations, Toronto Hydro Telecom
Q. What affordable steps can firms take to green their data centres?
A. There are many different things that they can do. The first one is the consolidation of multiple data centres into a few or, better yet, one. The fewer facilities you have the greater your opportunity is to maximize your efficiencies in a single facility or in fewer facilities.
Henry Van Pypen, vice-president and general
Q. What advances are taking place in the power consumption and promote conservation?
A. We are expecting about an 80 per cent reduction in power consumption, cooling requirements, and thousands of dollars in cost savings because we won’t need to replace the physical servers regularly. This will also save us about 2 server racks of space, & it will mean 40 fewer servers in the landfill every 3 years.
Nazir Mulji, vice-president, business development,
Q. Are companies going to truly green their data centres without a regulatory push?
A. A lot of larger data centres now are running out of power capacity with the servers drawing much more power than they used to. There’s a lot of awareness that this is going to be a big issue.
Aaron Hay, research consultant,
Info-Tech Research Group
Q. Why is green technology a hot VC investment area and what are some of the exciting advances in development?
A. Global venture capital investment in clean tech companies for 2007 will likely increase more than 35 per cent over last year. That’s good news for Canadian entrepreneurs who understand the possibilities of this expanding industry and know when to make their move.
David J. Boomer, Canadian national technology
Q. How is The Green Grid working to address green IT issues?
A. We are 100 per cent focused on the energy efficiency piece of data centres. We turned it as general computing architectures but definitely focused on energy efficiency. We brought together industry leaders along with end users. If you look from a vendors standpoint, you’ve got silicon suppliers like Intel & AMD, and you’ve got hardware suppliers such as IBM, HP & Dell.
Q. Is reducing power consumption a green issue or a dollars and cents issue?
A. While delivering the performance our customers demand, our products save them money by reducing their energy bills. This has driven demand and helped us grow market share.
Larry Vertal, senior strategist, AMD
Q. When buying computers and peripherals are companies thinking in terms of the product lifecycle, and considering recycling issues upfront?
A. If you went to our Web site hp.ca/recycle, you’d be able to access our Planet Partners program, which includes rechargeable battery recycling, original equipment inkjet and laserjet cartridge recycling and hardware recycling.
Frances Edmonds, director of environmental programs, HP Canada