The cost of energy continues to increase with shrinking in corporate budgets and need for more energy input. At times like this, even IT industry is affected and the stakeholders are starting to look for new ways of cutting down the cost as they keep the quality of work high and efficiency maximized. Implementation of a good energy policy in an organization’s premises can lead to reduced costs of ICT infrastructural costs in terms of capital required in setting up servers and cooling systems.
If the right energy saving and proper utilization habits are adopted and effective construction and installation ideas implemented in natural air flow optimization and proper heat insulation can lead to less cooling facilities requirements, cutting on costs (Greenguard, 2009). Efforts of energy conservation in IT infrastructure have been initiated through: • Technologies like PoE (Power over internet) and midspans; this is a technology that enables gadgets like phones to receive power together with data through the Ethernet connection.
Midspans are stand alone gadgets that are used to interface the Ethernet switch with the power sources for optimized power distribution to the ports as required. • Implementation of Smart energy and lighting technology in huge company premises with many workers using ICT equipments. • Efforts of IEEE-the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, to set standards for manufacturers of electronic and electrical gadgets (IEEE 802. 3-at) to ensure optimized energy utilization at the design level. • IT technology in energy auditing and virtualization of power management
• Use of Integrated circuits (ICs) to control magnetic and pulse width modulators for external power connection in devices. • Use of Power Source Equipment (PSE) and Power Devices (PD) in network classification during powering of new connections to ensure only PoE connections are powered in wireless and telecom devices. Electrical Power With the introduction of Power over Ethernet (PoE), many electronic devices that work in direct connection with computers through Ethernet cables have shifted from use of external power cables to reception of power together with data on the Ethernet connection.
The (IEEE) has established some standards (IEEE 802. 3-at) for such technology, contributing to encouraging the manufactures of electrical and electronic products to contribute in efforts of making ICT infrastructure environment friendly, through less energy consumption. This is a strategy which if adopted can lead to very improved efficiency in power delivery in devices’ interconnection. The manufacturers of such devices, for example Texas Instruments’, are manufacturing devices with power capabilities of choosing either to use PoE or switch to standard mode when the option is not available.
This is in the effort to become compliant with the IEEE 802. 3-at. Even when PoE is a better option than external cables, a more detailed power saving strategy can be applied through use of midspans, which interface the switches with power sources, injecting power to the ports using way much better technology and hence more efficient. Such consciousness is needed in order to contribute to the overall infrastructure. According to (Conner, 2008), for the manufacturers of the gadgets, the design of PoE can contribute to making of smaller boards and reduce the cost of inputs on large scale.
The technology shift there in the physics of electronic gadgets is the replacement of impedance power reduction through dissipation with the magnetic and switching methods in pulse width modulators, controlled through ICs. In efforts to increase power efficiency, the cost of production is also bound to reduce in the long run. The application of PSEs and PDs in network in power control centers gives an option to do power budgets and determine the proper management strategies to be applied. These are such refined levels of control that give the way to streamline and generally control power use.
With the current state of globalization in online business, the ICT infrastructure has grown to very complex networks, especially with emergent of mobile devices. Power systems for these networks are as huge as the extents of the networks while management is done manually at physical points of contact. The samples provided in the cases of Highmark and the University of Minnesota (Greenguard, 2009) form a small part of the global business ICT infrastructure that interact with the environment.
Educating people/employees A huge effort should go to changing the habits of power use in a working environment. The employees can too contribute to the efforts of a greener ICT infrastructure by ensuring proper use of power. Switching off devices when not in use can help accumulate huge power savings with time. This is not a common thing in most IT departments and will take the initiative of the management to organist fro training of the power users on good use of energy sources.
When organization becomes too huge with thousands of employees, energy efficiency becomes a major issue. Such a high number of users of the infrastructure can accumulate a high energy demand and proper management for cost effective and sustainable operation. An example of such a firm is the Highmark with 11000 employees. Energy Computations and Software Virtualization Right from the Physics hardware, the availability of interfacing in ports control to enable remote power on and power off (Ronen, 2009) in PoE makes complex networks manageable.
In the Highmark case the Company strategized on extra careful management method on using software technology like energy auditing tools and virtualization as well as new technology in smart energy and lighting systems (Greenguard, 2009). According to the report, there has been increase in need for organizations to use power consuming ICT infrastructure with new technologies to do business as compared to the traditional methods. This has led to ratings of about “61 billion kilowatt-hours in 2006” by data centers (Greenguard, 2009).
The figures could even increase with more ICT use, alarming the corporate to strategize on conservation and efficiency. Owing to this, there have been numerous instances of application of IT solution in power management. Highmark installed a system for collecting rain water and using it in a datacenter cooling system and virtualized the servers to monitor PC usage by employees. This strategy helped adopt the method of remote powering down of equipment not in use, to minimize wastage.
The company consulted with IBM to do computations of server spacing for maximum utilization of cooling systems. It appears clearly that many organizations have massive equipments powered up even when not in use because of poor management policy. From these results, it is important to carry each of these computation and software analysis methods with weigh while considering efforts to manage such massive data infrastructures. In many cases, the companies rely on employees to be reliable in implementing the energy conservation policies but even that cannot be enough.
If software methods are used to monitor use of powered resources and power them down remotely, a great deal of energy could be saved. A perfect example here is the IT organization of the University of Minnesota which could “switch off about 25,000 devices each night” (Greenguard, 2009). Conclusion The IT infrastructure comprises of billions of gadgets that use electrical power to operate and network equipment to keep them connected. Power consumption is therefore starts from a single device’s design and connection to the system and spans to the networking level.
The physical electronic power consumption can be managed and through standardization methods such as those by IEEE. It is at such low levels that interaction with the environment can be analyzed and energy consumption optimized. The physical arrangement of power consuming data facilities is also of significance importance as clogging them closely together reduces the ability of natural air flow to take care of cooling done by electrical motors in fans.
The relationship between IT and these physical sciences is so direct when it comes to practical application fields. The application of software power computation, management and control also helps ICT fit into the practical idea of conservation and greener infrastructure. From the cases analyzed, there is enough evidence that application of technology from the physics and engineering of devices and systems, software tools and ICT infrastructure can be managed in away that can lead to more environment friendly use.
References Conner, M. (2008). PoE for high-powered applications. Electronics Weekly, (2263), 18 Retrieved from: http://search. ebscohost. com/login. aspx? direct=true&db=cph&AN=36122010&loginpage=Login. asp&site=ehost-live Sani Ronen, (2009) Midspans for next-gen PoE,An inside look at technologies and standards, Tech update, Available: www. networkworld. com Samuel Greengard, (2009), Building an Energy-Efficient IT Infrastructure, Baseline Magazine Available: http://www. baselinemag. com
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