Pacific Gas & Electric: Data center divvied up into blade-server pods
At this utility, ranked No. 8, printers, and even servers, are resource-conserving by default.
Computerworld - When it comes to green IT, Pacific Gas & Electric knows how to talk the talk. The California utility already promotes energy conservation to its customers through a variety of incentives targeting everyone from consumers to data center operators.
It also launches internal initiatives, such as its recent "Think before you print" campaign. But the utility practices what it preaches by making green-IT best practices its gold standard. Users don't opt in -- they have to opt out.
For example, all printers are set to two-sided, black-and-white printing by default. Want to print color or one-sided? You'll need to change the print settings for the job. That policy alone cut printing by 51 million pages last year, saving $460,000 in paper and consumables costs, says Scott McDonald, IT architect.
Want a server? It's virtualized by default unless you can justify an alternative. "To opt out, people have to go through a level of transparency with their leadership," says McDonald. "We are virtualizing 80% to 85% of new loads." IT has virtualized almost half of the 1,900 servers in the company. That cut energy use by 2,600 megawatt-hours last year -- a $370,000 savings.
PG&E has also begun segmenting its data center into "pods" and is moving virtual servers, which used to be grouped by project, into a single pool of blade servers within those pods in order to consolidate further. Each pod contains about a dozen racks and is walled off by plastic curtains to isolate cooling and increase efficiency.
IT is also finishing up a power management system that will automatically force employees' 22,270 PCs into sleep mode after an hour of inactivity and turn off monitors after 20 minutes. PG&E projects annual savings of about 5,060 MWh, or $725,000.
More on Top Green-IT
Read more about Data Center in Computerworld's Data Center Topic Center.
- Hadoop for Dummies Today, organizations in every industry are being showered with imposing quantities of new information. Along with traditional sources, many more data channels and...
- The Top Five Ways to Get Started with Big Data Despite the increased focus on big data over the past few years, most organizations are still talking about what big data is rather...
- Data Warehouse Augmentation: The Queryable Data Store While organizations have, to date, been busy exploring and experimenting, they are now beginning to focus on using big data technologies to solve...
- The IBM Big Data Platform IBM is unique in having developed an enterprise class big data platform that allows you to address the full spectrum of big data...
- Live Webcast Best Practices: How to Improve Business Continuity with Virtualization VMware solutions include a range of business continuity capabilities to help ensure availability for applications across your virtualized environment. Learn More>>
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and... All Data Center White Papers | Webcasts