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GLRPPR Sector Resource: The IT Energy Efficiency Imperative: A white paper for decision makers on the urgency and benefits of embracing IT energy efficiency principles and practices

The IT Energy Efficiency Imperative: A white paper for decision makers on the urgency and benefits of embracing IT energy efficiency principles and practices

Tight budgets, rising energy costs, and limits on electric power availability are hindering the ability of information technology (IT) departments to meet the growing demand for IT services. To mitigate these challenges, it is important for organizations to embrace IT energy efficiency principles and practices to remain productive and competitive in this increasingly digital age. IT suppliers and vendors are responding to this challenge by producing more energy-efficient computer hardware, creating software that helps improve the energy efficiency of IT operations, and offering improved operational efficiency through public and private cloud computing platforms and services. But many IT departments are failing to capitalize on these advances. Lacking the necessary incentives or capabilities to improve IT energy efficiency, they are continuing the decades-old practice of overbuilding computer systems and thereby missing the opportunity to make their IT operations more sustainable and more responsive to organizational needs. Despite the wide availability of server virtualization and centralized PC power management solutions, only 25% of IT departments have a plan for optimizing IT resource use, increasing energy efficiency, and minimizing the waste generated by their IT operations. As a result, average server utilization remains at historically low levels, and in many organizations, desktop PCs waste as much as 75% of the electricity they consume. By embracing energy efficiency in areas such as system architecture, hardware provisioning, software design, and operations, organizations can reduce their IT budgets and respond more rapidly to demands for additional services, thereby improving their overall productivity and competitiveness. As a leading provider of software platforms and solutions, Microsoft is committed to helping customers improve the energy efficiency of their IT systems. We also recognize that manufacturing, operating, and disposing of IT equipment has a significant and growing impact on the environment. Building on capabilities in our core platform offerings -- Windows Server, Windows Azure, and Microsoft System Center -- that enable energy-efficient IT operations, this paper outlines key strategies, principles, and practices that organizations can adopt to make their IT infrastructure more energy efficient, cost effective, and responsive to business demands.



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GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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