Going Green with Gotham

By Gotham
Posted in Virtualization
On February 02, 2012

For businesses of all sizes, going green is a smart move not only for the environment, but also for your bottom line. Reducing your carbon footprint and conserving energy results in significant savings and a corporate image of responsibility and eco-consciousness—a win-win for both accounting and PR.

To realize these benefits, begin with IT. According to Symantec’s 2009 Green Report, 86% of companies surveyed felt that “it is somewhat/significantly important that their IT organization implement Green IT initiatives,” and 92% said “IT should play a very or extremely significant role in minimizing the company’s environmental footprint.” Not surprising, considering that cooling a server takes the same amount of energy to run it; at 4.5 billion kilowatts per year, data centers account for 1.5% of the energy consumed by the United States. Much of this is waste: average server utilization is only about 8-20%.

By reducing the amount of physical hardware needed to get the job done, maximizing utilization of resources, and enabling remote access and telecommuting, virtualization can more than halve your energy consumption costs and CO2 emissions, while improving productivity. Here’s how Gotham’s partners are creating sustainable IT:


Compared to a PC-based infrastructure, a Citrix-based infrastructure can reduce power consumption by “as much as 75%” and “multipl[y] efficiency ten-fold.” A Citrix infrastructure also saves space: using thin clients reduces weight by up to 65%, volume by up to 30%-- this compounds the space-saving effect of telecommuting, also facilitated by the cloud. (www.citrix.com)


While in a year, ten standalone IIS servers consume about 43,839 kWh of power and release 34,084 kg of carbon dioxide, one Hyper-V server with ten IIS7 VMs consumes 4,490 kWh/year and releases 3,491 KG of CO2—a near tenfold reduction on both counts. “Microsoft’s measurements with Hyper-V show a near one-to-one energy savings for each server consolidated. In other words, the power consumption of the host OS does not substantially increase as guests are added.”

Like many of our partners, Microsoft leads by example in terms of green computing, using Unified Communications (UC) to enable employees to telecommute. The savings? 17,000 metric tons of CO2 and $92 million in travel costs in one year. (www.microsoft.com)


One of InfoWorld’s 2010 Green 15, winner of the European Green IT Award in 2008, and an IBM Beacon Awards Finalist in 2009, Wyse is on the forefront of green IT—up to 90% of a Wyse thin client is recyclable, as is 99% of its packaging. Compared to 1,000 PCs, an infrastructure containing 1,000 Wyse thin clients consumes 90% less energy and releases 27 fewer tons of CO2 in one year. (www.wyse.com)


While many companies can tell you how much power they can save an individual organization—often their own organizations—VMware keeps track of how much power its 1.2 million workstations save worldwide: 8 billion kWh, “more than the heating, ventilation and cooling electricity consumed in New England in a year.” (www.vmware.com)


Between 2007 and 2008, Symantec closed seven of its own data centers, using software tools to maximize utilization of its resources. Once such tool is the Symantec IT Energy ROI Tool, which can shave over 20% off an organization’s data center energy bill. In some businesses, this has resulted in “$4 million dollars or more of annual cost reduction.” (www.symantec.com)


EMC’s new VNX and VNXe platforms “have power supplies with more than 90 percent energy efficiency,” and “all EMC storage platforms have adaptive cooling in place.” Using technology including deduplication and fully automated storage tiering (FAST), EMC seeks to lead the way in “the development of energy-efficient storage platforms for organizations around the world.” (www.emc.com)


NetApp’s FlexVol technology results in average utilization rates of 60%, though some customers experience 100% utilization by “safely overprovisioning.” Making the most of your resources means you don’t have to spend on as many resources: “increasing utilization 50% results in a corresponding reduction in the number of disks that are required to meet your storage needs.” (www.netapp.com)


Akamai network traffic has “quadrupled” between 2009 and today, initially resulting in a 33% increase in carbon emissions. While this traffic meant more customers going green through Akamai’s cloud resources, Akamai launched its own Sustainability Initiative “with a primary focus of measuring and mitigating the environmental impact of our business operations.” Through “hardware and code efficiency,” Akamai reduced its carbon emissions and energy consumption 57%. (www.akamai.com)

The Gotham Factor

Through partnerships with these and other industry-leading technology vendors, Gotham is helping to bring information technology into a new era of environmental awareness and sustainability. Contact your Gotham account manager to see how virtualization can help you green your organization.