Why You Should Watch Green Tech

Loraine Lawson

Green tech seems to be the "up and coming" star of the technology sector. Of course, most green tech applies to manufacturing or cars and really isn't IT-specific. One area where I do see a lot of green tech movement is in data centers.


Data centers are notorious energy hogs, largely due to the cooling costs. Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and IBM are all pledged to green initiatives, which range from more efficient chip technology to better data centers.


This week, Enterprise Systems reports IBM upped the ante by committing a cool $1 billion to its green technology initiative, called "Project Big Green." IBM is promising a system that will walk businesses through the process of going green. It's devoting more than 850 IBM "energy efficiency architects" to the project and will work with six "eco-systems" partners, including GE Consumer and Industrial.


An analyst in the article praises IBM's plans to help companies through methodical, incremental changes, but does question how storage growth fits into the green plan.


IBM is starting with its own data centers. The company anticipates doubling computing capacity in the next three years without using more power or creating more carbon, according to Enterprise Systems.


Why worry about carbon, some of you may ask. Gartner contends the IT industry creates 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. And we're not talking manufacturing - we're talking CO2 pouring out of your PCs, LANs, servers and printers.


According to Information Age, the IT research firm predicts more businesses will enact environmental policies, and by 2010, 50 percent of IT organizations will have some form of environmental targets they must meet.


This isn't just about creating a better environment - when is it ever? It's also about money. More companies are realizing their power-hog data centers and buildings are cutting into earnings, as this Wall Street & Technology article attests.


Also this week, Extreme Tech reports that Intel will go green by producing lead-free chips for its 45nm microprocessors. Next year, Intel will shift to lead-free manufacturing for its 65 nm chipsets. It promises the decision to "get the lead out" will not impact performance.

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