Virtualization Is Key Green Technology
Without a doubt, x86-based server virtualization is the most popular power-saving project for data center managers. Data center consolidation projects based on hypervisor technology from VMware, Microsoft, Citrix Systems, Red Hat, Novell and Xen have already demonstrated significant hardware savings and improved IT resource efficiency. Virtual resources must still run on physical hardware that must be powered and cooled, and virtual machines are even easier to lose track of than traditional one-server/one-application implementations. VM sprawl, the unmanaged proliferation of virtual resources, can result in no new energy savings. Virtualization without effective capacity planning and life-cycle management can easily result in IT departments spending as much or more on utilities.A September research study by Enterprise Management Associates showed that virtualization was the most popular green IT initiative, but that CPU power throttling, which resulted in 14 percent energy savings on existing equipment, got the highest return on investment. CPU power throttling has been available-but not often implemented-in server hardware since 2000. This is one piece of low-hanging fruit that IT managers can grasp immediately to yield utility savings now. However, implementing CPU power saving requires, of course, hardware that supports this functionality and an operating system that can implement the technology.
Thus, green IT requires a holistic approach to data center and desktop system management that ties business use to resource planning. Simply virtualizing resources does not a green IT solution make.