The Green CIO

Be Cool

Data centers are another potential area for proactive energy conservation. In the data center, it’s all about staying cool. A growing number of hardware providers are now offering energy-saving products that use far less power than more traditional devices. Some consume less power, others utilize power more efficiently. Either way, reducing power requirements is an environmentally responsible thing to do.

Then there’s the actual air in the data center. Everyone knows that data centers run best when they’re cool. But cool doesn’t always mean air conditioning. When the outside air is cooler than the air inside, organizations can bring in that cooler air and turn the air conditioner off.

What’s more, a growing number of organizations are focusing a portion of their green efforts on data center power itself. Some are opting for leveraging DC power for a portion of their infrastructures since DC, or battery, power generates less heat than traditional AC power.

That’s not all. Firms that buy a significant amount of power can evaluate the option of purchasing power from a renewable energy source such as hydroelectric providers. Where possible, organizations can also look for cleaner sources of power, such as nuclear power, to drive their data centers.

The bottom line is, good corporate responsibility must include an environmental strategy and initiatives aimed at doing as much as possible to protect and save the planet for future generations.

Environmental responsibility also makes good business sense, since reducing power demands results in bottom-line savings. What’s more, customers demand it, which makes taking the green path an effective tactic for retaining customer loyalty and trust.

David Thompson is CIO of Symantec. Prior to joining Symantec, Thompson was senior vice president and CIO for Oracle and oversaw its Global Information Technology group.