Dump old infrastructure to go green: IDC

Analyst says upgrading has environmental benefits

IDC is urging local companies to reduce carbon emissions by replacing or virtualising old IT infrastructure.

Speaking at IDC's Intelligent Green conference in Auckland earlier this month, US-based ICT and sustainability senior vice president of research Vernon Turner said New Zealand could improve on its score of 21 points in the IDC Sustainability Index. The ranking is an indicator of how well a country has the capability to integrate ICT into its economy to manage and reduce carbon emissions.

“By estimates there are about 36 million tonnes [of carbon emissions] generated per year in New Zealand," says Turner. "It works out at nine tonnes per person.”

He says the management of server hardware is expensive and an area ripe for cost savings.

“On a compound annual growth rate the cost of powering and cooling servers is growing at 7.7 percent to US$29.3 billion dollars. For every watt saved at the component level, it equates to four times savings at the generation start point. In New Zealand, we’re generating about 600,000 kilowatts per hour per year and creating about 600,000 tonnes of Co2.”

He says virtualisation is growing in New Zealand, and this could achieve results in terms of sustainable IT.

He cites the example of a US company that reduced power and cooling costs from $360,000 to $45,000 after virtualising.

According to Turner, ICT could be used to save about 5.8 gigatonnes in emissions over the next ten years, across four main sectors: energy, manufacturing, transport and distribution.

“IDC is supporting technologies such as telepresence to reduce carbon emissions. There are so many applications we can use, [such as] high definition videoconferencing, whether it be for business meetings or conferences.”

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