We live in a world where people are, quite rightly, increasingly aware of their impact on the environment.
If you are responsible for the IT within companies, there is much you can do to make their networks more “green,” and, surprisingly, it is all quite easy.
Most major hardware manufacturers have responded to consumer demand for environmentally friendly products by releasing items that consume less energy.
Sometimes this is done my minimizing the use of fans and using other cooling technology instead. Other products use power-saving features to reduce or cut power when items are not in use or under significant load.
Proving the Value of Green Networking to Your Clients
As these products already exist in the marketplace, all you really need to do is ensure you are familiar with them, and work to promote them to your clients.
By making sure that purchasing decisions factor in environmental impact, you can begin to make customer networks greener. Many clients will be pleased to pay a price premium for these products, especially if you can prove that low power utilization may, in fact, save them money in the long run.
With this in mind, let’s consider several clear benefits of green networking:
- Considering the environment when using IT equipment boosts green credentials – both for IT providers and the businesses they serve.
- A green networking policy may complement a company’s overall environmental strategy.
- Using well-chosen networking equipment can actually save money in the medium to long term – energy bills may be reduced by the equipment itself and may even reduce the cost of server room cooling.
If you choose to adopt an environmental IT focus, there is plenty more you can do beyond making sure you and your customers use the right equipment.
Education and Proper Configuration are Key
All computers have a host of power management settings. Time spent configuring these in detail can save energy by ensuring machines and their individual components are powered down when not in use. Having computers whirring away all night is a dreadful waste of energy and something that is very easy to avoid.
User education is also a valuable part of the equation. All staff should be encouraged to contribute to green IT by turning off equipment that is not in use. One only need drive past office blocks late at night and see the number of lights on to see how complacent many workers are in not conserving energy on behalf of their companies. Educating and reminding staff is essential to ensure they play their part.
Green networking does require a strategy, but none of the activities involved in making it a reality are remotely difficult. MSPs who take the time to work with their clients to boost green credentials and make the right decisions should find it easy to mark themselves out from the competition.