Most of the green IT talk the last couple of years has centered on saving power in data center servers, using smart power supplies, and finding-and utilizing-wasted capacity in storage arrays.
Certainly, improvement in these areas are all good for everybody, and the advancements that have been made there are indeed newsworthy.
However, it's not always apparent how clean, efficient networking also can save energy, capital cost and maintenance time. Examples of this kind of green IT are not as common, but they, too, have value in this savings-conscious society.
This article is about how an international nonprofit organization upgraded its enterprise networking structure and came away with what it believes are great benefits. And it didn't cost the organization a pile of capital to do it.
What the German Marshall Fund Does
The subject enterprise is the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a relatively little-known, nonpartisan American public policy and grant-making institution dedicated to promoting greater cooperation and understanding between the United States and Europe.
GMF does this by funding individuals and institutions working on transatlantic issues, by convening leaders to discuss the most pressing transatlantic themes, and by examining ways in which transatlantic cooperation can address a variety of global policy challenges. In addition, GMF supports a number of initiatives to strengthen democracies.
Founded in 1972 through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, D.C., GMF has offices in Berlin, Bratislava, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara and Bucharest.
The Marshall Plan was a four-year program proposed by U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall and instituted at the Paris Economic Conference in July 1947 to provide foreign assistance to 17 European nations during World War II reconstruction.
GMF was created by Germany and released to the United States to restore economic stability in Europe and to facilitate foreign trade. As a predecessor of NATO and the Atlantic alliance, it distributed a whopping $13 billion to other organizations between 1948 and 1951.