Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Draft of Greening IT Online Book launched today

Greening IT book launched to coincide with Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference

Download the PDF here

The Project

Behind the project

Green IT has a great potential to help society optimise resource use, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To increase awareness on this potential, we are writing a non-profit making internationally collaborative book, released under a Creative Commons license

Why Green IT?

Today Western economices are largely characterised by service-based economies, sustained by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Our economies evolves around ICT: Our public sector is based on it, the financial sector is based on it, the energy sector, the transport system, the education system, the health system - all are largely dependent on Information Technology.
Our societies developed this way, because IT was able to make daily routines easier, quicker and more efficient. IT has optimised a number of processes and has helped society progress.
Globally IT is responsible for around 2%. of the world's emission of greenhouse gases. The IT sector itself contributes, through its massive consumption of energy, to greenhouse gas emissions – and thereby continuously adds to the cause of the problem. At the same time, however, the IT industry can provide the ‘technological fixes’ we need to reduce emissions and form a solid base for the Low-Carbon society. We call this Green IT.

What about climate change?

The majority of scientists today, believe that climate change is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide or CO2, which is emitted as a result of consumption (incineration) of fossil fuels. All sectors of society and all IT components require energy to perform their function – thus contributing to climate change.
The effects of climate change is global warming that causes melting glaciers, rising sea-levels, floods and droughts, more extreme weather events etc. All in all the effects of climate change will make life on Earth more difficult, and it will hit the hardest in low-lying and poor areas.
Climate Change and Global Warming are the effects of unsustainable consumption patterns in an industrialised world. And most people are by now convinced that we need to solve the problem, to avoid severe consequences on the environment and on our livelihoods.
IT plays an important role in this development due to its potential to further optimise processes and routines. What we want is a Low-Carbon Society where industrial processes have been optimised, energy production have been turned green (based on renewable energy) and consumption in general has been transformed to a more sustainable path.

Scope of interest

To further explore the potential for Green IT to help the climate and safe the planet - we are collecting material for a book.
We are interested in IT solutions that have a positive effect on CO2-emissions. Yet, the solutions should not only contribute to solve the problem, but should also help 'fix' the cause of the problem of climate change. A good example here, is the solution that Copenhagen Consensus Center's economists came up with (Aug 2009: Copenhagen Consensus Center): That it is cheaper to solve global warming by sending out a fleet of special built ships spraying seawater droplets into marine clouds to make them reflect more sunlight. It may solve the immediate problem, but it does not tackle the general flaws in consumption patterns that will continue to cause problems, if not attended to. Therefore it does not support our purpose to progress on the way to a Low-Carbon Society.
I have also agreed to be a contributor for later revisions of this book and will be discussing my favourite topic of Thin Client computing and desktop virtualisation.
More info at
A list of contributors can be found here
Download a PDF draft copy of the book from 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Triple I Efficient IT Presentation

Today I delivered a presentation on Efficient "Green" IT in the recession at the Triple i covention.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Xendesktop: The missing part of virtualisation puzzle

My presentation from Citrix Iforum 2009 in Edinburgh today

Will add some comments about Citrix Iforum after the event finishes

Citrix Podcast Case Study

Citrix Video Case Study

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hat trick of Awards at Green 500

Reed won a hat trick of Green awards at the Green 500 London ceremony last night.

The awards were presented by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who joked that the tube strike in London had inadvertently made everyone 'greener' as they chose to walk and cycle to work, cutting their emissions in the meantime.

The first award that we won was the Green 500 Trailblazer Award. This was given to us in recognition of the fact that we have set a standard for other organisations to follow and that we have led the way in commitment and communications on carbon reduction.This was largely due to the introduction of our 'Thin Client' Terminal computer network.

The second award that we won was the Engager Award. This aimed to recognise an organisation that has achieved highly in the green learning, skills and communications of its workforce. Green500 said of Reed, "The company has delivered a comprehensive range of successful engagement activities across its entire portfolio, including: induction training; a carbon champion programme; 'switch it off' Thin Client terminals competitions; and 'Green Mondays' (an environmentally friendly news and advice service every Monday).

All activities are in place to engage employees to be more environmentally conscious in their daily activities, in order to achieve overall savings' objectives."

Finally, we were presented with a Platinum Award by the Green500. This recognises that we have made significant progress against the action plan that we agreed with the Green500 and that we continue to score highly in our carbon management processes. Next year, we will be aiming to achieve the Diamond Award, which is reserved for those organisations clearly leading the way and consistently exceeding action plan targets.

On Friday 19th June I will presenting at the Green 500 Energy efficient IT masterclass which will be hosted at Guys and St Thomas, London

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

European Code of Conduct for Data Centres

Last week we signed up to European Commission Code of Conduct for Data Centres

We decided to transform our enterprise data centre in 2007 into an energy efficient data centre.

The first thing we did was to increase the room temperature from 18C to 24C. We did this gradually one degree Celsius per month to gauge the effect. Modern computer equipment does not need to run below 20C and it an old mainframe legacy concept that some data centres still run at such cold temperature.

Next we turned off the humidifiers; again modern computing equipment does not need humidity of exactly 50%. We found that often one air conditioning unit was boiling bottle using a 4KW element to humidify the room while the other unit was de-humidifying the room. Just plain CRAZY!

We enforced hot and cold isles and created most efficient air flow by using blanking plates, changing air tiles and diverting under floor air flow.

We virtualised every server that could be virtualised by using 64 bit HP blade servers. You now need to business case to have a physical server.

Our HP Blade server enclosures use 90% plus power supplies and power management making them very efficient.

We consolidated our Storage using Netapp reducing the amount of spinning disks by over 500 while increasing actual capacity.

The data centre is now a lights out data centre. A sensor senses when someone is inside the room and switches the lights on. They switch off automatically when the person leaves.

We monitored electricity meter power consumption and UPS IT equipment consumption to work out Green Grid PUE and DCIE metrics

However the main investment was to replace our Stulz computer room air conditioning units for a pair of Uniflair Free-cooling units

Our legacy air conditioning equipment was ‘direct expansion’ where a refrigerant gas is used to transfer heat from inside the building (via the AC unit) to outside air (via the condensing unit). In this type of machine the complete heat transfer process is carried out by condensing & evaporating the refrigerant gas.

The new Uniflair system still relies on the same principal, however instead of relying on ‘pumping’ the refrigerant around the system, its transfers the heat to a water system which absorbs the heat generated & carries it to the roof. The key feature of this system however, is that for much of the year it can transfer enough heat from the room to the water without having to run the compressor system at all – and this is where substantial cost and environmental savings can be achieved.

When outside air temperatures are low enough, the water can simply be passed through the roof top cooler and passed back to the AC unit where it is diverted straight across the evaporator to cool the room air.

The new system also uses ‘EC’ drive fans which are the latest low energy fan drives saving approximately 33% over standard motor drives.


There are numerous benefits to changing to the Free Cooling water cooled option

• Free cooling available for much of the year (any time it is less than 16C)
• Lower energy consumption.
• Lower refrigerant system content.
• Improved low energy fans drives.
• Great capacity control – improves room conditions & lower energy use.

Electricity Meter Readings for data centre

28/11/2008 12/1/2009 91,420 KWh
13/1/2009 10/02/2009 42,940 KWh
11/02/2009 25/02/2009 22,520 KWh
26/02/2009 03/04/2009 59,710 KWh

UPS meter reading for IT equipment load

4,720 KWh 28/11/2008 31/11/2008
36,582 KWh 01/12/2008 31/12/2008
36,582 KWh 01/01/2009 31/01/2009
33,042 KWh 01/02/2009 28/02/2009
36,582 KWh 01/03/2009 31/03/2009
35,402 KWh 01/04/2009 30/04/2009

Green Grid PUE Metrics

Although the free-cooling was installed in November 2008, the free cooling element was not fully active until early December 2008.

Prior to November 2008 we estimate our Data Centre PUE to have been close to 2.0 although the average legacy data centre PUE is 2.5 according to the Uptime Institute

November to December 2008 PUE 1.68

January 2009 PUE 1.29

February 2009 PUE 1.36

March 2009 PUE 1.36

Microsoft have been one of the largest names to sign the code. They have a PUE of 1.6 and have targeted 1.2

Google led the charge with one of its data centres running an average PUE of 1.11 and the rest averaging 1.19 PUE

Another idea is to use a networked energy monitor like the Ringdale Energy monitor which connects to the network via a Ethernet cable contains a web server with data logger
We will be installing this in-expensive monitor in the next few weeks

Link to the Ringdale monitor can be found here

We would certainly encourage others to sign the EU code of conduct.

More information on the European Code of Conduct on Data Centres can be found here

Monday, May 25, 2009

BSI Green IT Conference 19th May

I attended BSI's first and maybe only Green IT conference last week on 19th May at the CBI conference centre at Centre Point, off Oxford Street London.

The speakers were excellent but the attendance was very poor, whether it was scheduled too close to Green IT 09 a few weeks ago, the world recession or just poor marketing of the event I just don't know.

The number of delegates excluding speakers and BSI employees numbered 15 including myself which was cosy.

If BSI wants to run this event again I would suggest making it a free event or a virtual Green IT event where presentations are streamed to people's desks.

That said there were some good presentations and good points made to the select small audience.

Mile Gilmore, Managing Director of E-Ready who chaired the BSI Green IT conference started his introduction by stating "The very term 'Green' has as many interpretations as the number of people asked" he went on to say "I would venture that 'Green IT' is actually "Energy Efficient IT"

Ian Osborne from Intellect was the next speaker to talk about Grid computing Now! and how it is aimed championing Green IT through Grid Computing.

During his presentation Ian claimed "Powering processors consumes 6-10% of the data centre budget" said "It is important to get good value for carbon!"

The next presentation was David Fatscher from BSI is talking about ISO14001, PAS2050 and BS16001 standards. He said BSI was looking for users to get involved in Green IT standards he said anyone could join a committee or comment on draft standards by visiting

David from BSI also called for IT vendors to provide "proof of greenness" after 80% of users said they had been misled by "Green wash" in a recent survey.

David Fatscher,BSI, Liam Newcombe,BCS Data Centre Specialist Group and Bob Croks,Defra then discussed what role BSI can play in shaping Green IT agenda in a discussion panel.

Next up was Liam Newcombe from the BCS DCSG on the European Commission Code of Conduct for data centres.

He started by saying "European Data centres are forecasted to use 104 TWh of energy by 2020" and quoted Paolo Bertoldi DG of European Commission JRC saying "The aim is to inform and stimulate data centre operators to reduce energy consumption in a cost effective manner"

Liam said "there was no coherent set of expert Green IT strategy" and "most information is not vendor neutral" when talking about the Green data centre.

Liam Westley, Managing Director from Tiger Computer Services AKA @westleyl on twitter spoke about the role of virtualization in Green IT. His presentation can be found on his blog at

On a lighter moment Liam showed how to Fry an egg on your PC to demonstrate how much power you are wasting via @westleyl

Next up was Mark Taylor from Microsoft who said Microsoft wants to "help customers embrace sustainability as a way to save money as well as reducing their environmental impact" Mark said that Microsoft have signed the European Commission’s code of conduct for data centres just last week.

Following Mark's presentation was a panel including Liam Newcombe BCS, Patrick Fogarty Norman Disney & Young and Ian Osborne, Intellect to discuss data centres for the future. Cloud computing was a common theme and the McKinsey report on Cloud Computing Costs was referenced.

Mark Cavill from Royal Mail did a presentation on their carbon emissions.

Some of his statistics included that their "CO2 emissions would fill 99 billion party balloons" "their energy consumption would power 43,731 UK homes" and
"Their landfill waste is equivalent to 11,157 fully laden Ford Transits"

He claimed Royal Mail's CO2 emissions are 993,879 tonnes per year and they will look to reduce this by 80% by 2050

His finishing quote was "The stone age did not end because the world ran out of stones and the oil age will not end because the world runs out of oil" Amory Lovins

Anja Frrench from Computer Aid International spoke about the re-use of PC's

She said 12 million PC's bought in UK in 2008 and 12.5 Million Pc's were sent to landfill over the past 5 years in the UK.

She claimed that each PC uses 240Kg of Fossil fuel, 22Kg of chemicals and 1500 litres of water to make and that 75% of the environmental cost of a PC is expended before the PC is switched on.

The day finished with Bob Croks from Defra saying what Defra were doing in regards to government Green IT strategy.

I tweeted the highlights on twitter from @geekygreen You can still search on the hash tag of #BSIGreenIT

My last small complain to BSI is they printed all the presentations on recycled paper for each delegate> I would of preferred an electronic version after the event on paper.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Green IT 09 Conference

I was a speaker and delegate at the Green IT Conference & Exhibition 09 ( at the Islington Design Centre in London on the 6th and 7th May last week. Now in its second year it attracted some very good speakers and industry leading delegates. It was slightly smaller this year obviously a knock on effect from the global recession but the major theme was on how Green IT strategies can actually help companies reduce costs to help the bottom line dispelling the myth that Green IT is more expensive or you have to be a tree hugger.

Chris Mines from Forrester Research opened the conference with his keynote after Lord Hunt, Minister for Sustainable Development and Energy Innovation pulled out of the event for medical reasons. The Green IT 09 Keynote started with Chris Mines asking "How does Green IT continue to flourish in a recession?" he answers that we must "Align eco-logy with eco-nomics” to get past the myth that Green IT is more expensive. He says we must "Start at the top of the IT stack, not the bottom, rationalise the application portfolio which in turn creates hardware consolidation".

He stated that according to Forrester research "55% of enterprises have embraced green criteria for IT procurement". He finished his keynote by saying "40% of companies say it is still too early to know whether the recession will have an impact on Green IT initiatives"

Chris slides and research on Green IT can be found here. You need to register on the Forrester site to download the material.

Next up was Gerry Pennell, CIO of London Olympics 2012 who asked the question "How will the London Olympic games of 2012 ensure that the technology is sustainable and energy efficient as possible?" He went on to say that "Sustainability is a central agenda for London 2012 including technology and IT" and includes that "Charities and schools may benefit from the disposal of 12,000 PC's after the 2012 games"

Day two keynote was hosted by an entertaining Paul Coby CIO of British Airways who started by saying "Corporate responsibility is a critical issue for the aviation industry and we need to address this through actions rather than words". He says there are four main areas of Green IT which need addressing. These are Green IT procuring, installing, running and ultimately disposing. B.A. pledged to reduce their IT Carbon footprint 25% by 2011. Some of the statistics he presented were B.A recycle 80% of their old IT equipment and give a further 10% to charities and they have saved 7,000 tonnes of CO2 by switching off PC's at night in addition to data centre power consumption reducing by 7%.

His comment on "Too much vendor Bollocks" was reported in Eweek linked below

I enjoyed the Green IT 09 event and found it very worthwhile. I thought that the whole Green IT message and awareness is maturing.

My own presentation on day two was entitled the "The Efficient business case" and a copy is displayed below.

I also micro blogged live on twitter from the event as @Geekygreen. The posts can still be found
A copy of all the presentations from the event can be downloaded at

A good overview of the Green IT event from Eweek can be found here