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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

IT industry reaches aviation levels of carbon emissions

17 July, 2008
With software as a service becoming more fashionable, more companiestest are moving their IT operations to data centres with a heavy cost to the environment argues the EU
Many IT security companies are now following other sub sections of the IT industry and offering software as a service models and hosting the day to day operations that would normally be done in house. According to a recent report from the European Union Commission however, the cost to the environment of these data centres is as high as the aviation industry, long held to be the "Sasquatch" or "Yeti" in terms of carbon footprints.

Recent press releases from a number of data centres, server manufacturers, cooling and power management companies have enlightened the world in terms of what can be done in terms of saving energy in such high energy-drain applications and thus reduce the carbon emissions which would otherwise result.

The EU, however, is now forcing the issue and providing substantial financial incentives to centres that keep their emissions to acceptable levels, savings which it is hoped will be passed on to the end user. With comparisons now being made with the pariah of carbon generators, the situation is likely to gain much more focus and now is the time to start looking for greener resources not only in the supplier base but also in house because once the EU starts offering incentives, the trend will escalate and the US will quickly follow suit and then it will become an issue of compliance with penalties being imposed rather than incentives offered.

With some investment in researching the supplier base and understanding what is on offer both in terms of SaaS and in-house server hardware, significant costs can easily be avoided in the future. There are plenty of suppliers to choose from in terms of hardware, power management software and hosted services so choose carefully.

The message seems to be to invest in green IT now or suffer the consequences later.
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