How much can you save by going green?

Global warming is real and it isn’t going away, but given that the governments that genuinely could do something about it aren’t doing anything much beyond spin, why should we put ourselves out?

How much can you save by going green?

Well maybe I’m a bit sad, but I spend my life shutting systems down when they’re not needed.

A good way of shutting down systems is to consolidate them, which means having fewer physical servers and more virtual servers.

But how much can you actually save, both for your own energy bills and your children’s world? You might wonder whether it’s even worth doing if you have only a few servers: I have four at the moment running Exchange Server, Terminal Server, and two running Windows Server with all the accounts and data.

How much can you actually save, both for your own energy bills and your children’s world?

How much I could achieve by reducing my physical servers to, say, two? Annually that’s about £1,205 in energy savings, and a reduction of CO2 emissions by 9.62 metric tons.

I can cut emissions equivalent to those produced by running one entire house, or by taking 1.8 cars off the road, or the effect of planting 23.1 trees.

And I only have four servers. If you have 100 servers and cut back to 50, the figures get really dramatic: CO2 down by 240.59 metric tons; equivalent to that produced by 25.8 homes, or getting 44.1 cars off the road, or planting 576.3 trees. Energy savings? £30,129.

On the desktop side, there are significant savings to be had by recycling those old CRTs, but there’s also your desktop operating system to consider.

Windows 7

It’s my intention to move to Windows 7 as soon as feasible, so I registered with Microsoft Green IT and got access to a green calculator – I entered the number of desktops currently running Windows XP, and let the calculator work out how much I’d save by switching to Windows 7.

Even given that I’d need to do a RAM upgrade on many PCs, I’d still make a financial saving, but the considerable environmental savings are the same regardless of what I need to spend to achieve them.

How do I know this? A combination of Microsoft and Alinean told me so, and I got these facts by running through the server and desktop savings calculators that you can access here.

Slightly irritatingly, the server pages gave me results in UK pounds but I couldn’t get the desktop pages to provide anything other than US dollars, even after I’d registered and told the program where I was located.

Never mind, give it a go anyway and you might be surprised at how much good you can do for the environment. It also lets you see whether there are long-term savings to be made.

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