Going Green; Dell Works with IT Managers on Recall

By Scot Petersen  |  Posted 2006-08-18 Print this article Print

Opinion: Looking for the best ways to turn your data center green; Dell moves to help businesses with the battery shuffle.

The term "greening of" is now part of the lexicon. If you Google it (oops, Im not supposed to say that), you can find that just about anything can be "greened"—if thats a word. PCs and monitors have sported Energy Star stickers for more than a decade, but power conservation ideas have skipped by the data center—especially in small and midsize companies, where inefficient practices have survived in the era of IT cost cutting—which is now putting IT managers on the hot seat, literally.

The fact is, data centers are consuming too much electricity, in the form of power and especially cooling. In our latest eWEEK Road Map feature, Senior Editor Kevin Fogarty examines the startling statistics of just how inefficient things are.
For starters, most companies are throwing too much cooling at their data centers—an average of 2.6 times too much—yet still end up with hot spots. The problem isnt so much the heat generated by the servers or poor air conditioning; its flaws in airflow design, flaws that companies such as American Power Conversion have made a mission to address.
Furniture retailer Slumberland is using APC technology to keep its centralized—and growing—data center cool, Fogarty reports.

From the hot seat into the fire, Dell officials are hoping they never see another week like the last one. On top of the PC makers recall of 4.1 million laptop batteries due to fire risk, company officials announced the poor earnings results they had warned of in July. But, oddly, whereas Johnson & Johnson was praised for the way it handled Tylenol tampering in 1982—by pulling every bottle from the shelves—Dells action in doing the right thing has been met with angst on the part of some IT managers, reports Senior Writer John G. Spooner.

Consumers trading in their batteries is one thing, but administrators with hundreds or thousands of Dell laptops to deal with are looking for help and more information from Dell in identifying the batteries and managing the recall. Company Chairman and founder Michael Dell defended CEO Kevin Rollins last week, but it would not surprise anyone to see Dell pull a Steve Jobs and return to his old post.

Contact eWEEK Editor Scot Petersen at scot_petersen@ziffdavis.com.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

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