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Greening the network

Greening the network

While cutting back our power usage and generally being more environmentally friendly is indisputably a good thing, there are other factors in the networking space helping to push many companies along a greener path.

Do it for the money. If you still think you know better than some of the brightest scientific and economic minds in the world, and the overwhelming majority of researchers who have spent more time on the climate change issue than anyone else, then at least save yourself and your clients some coin.

Others will do it because, well, it is the right thing to do – we created the problem and passing it on to our children without making a sincere effort is pretty callous and irresponsible. But if you can’t identify with that and consider yourself more knowledgeable, then at least harden up like the pioneers, stop being a lazy sod and think of the bottom line because being more environmentally friendly, including in your network, can significantly cut costs.

Of course, if everybody took a greener networking path it would help us overcome the tired arguments associated with the business versus environment dichotomy, but arguably more important for the channel – and businesses in general – is the win-win situation it could engender: Having a greener network is a convincing business case and better for the environment.

“The driving forces behind new centralised and consolidated network architectures was not originally about being green, but about better efficiencies, better security and improved manageability,” IDC market analyst network technologies, Jamie Jin, said. “Now that green is the flavour of the day, it’s another good reason for CIOs to invest in their network.”

After doing the return on investment (ROI) math for a greener network, many corporations are realising what a low hanging and potentially juicy fruit green IT really is.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the single most important thing out there but I do see green as one of the areas a lot of vendors are focusing on to show some value to the end-user and savings in terms of return on investment,” 3Com enterprise product marketing manager Asia-Pacific, Andrew Hindmarch, said.

But the trend is not limited to a vendor push and many organisations are forging ahead with progressive green policies. For example, Juniper systems engineering manager A/NZ enterprise, Matthew Miller, claimed one of his customers has a policy that when they want to introduce a new networking component they have to make a business case for removing two; two green steps forward for one financial step back so to speak.

“That’s the philosophy of a lot of our customers at the moment and that really does push down the virtualisation path as well,” he said. “How can we minimise on the real estate of these network elements and capitalise on what we are going to move forward with.

“The more networking elements you have the bigger the environmental cost is; you need more air conditioning, you need more DC power, there are a lot of ramifi cations about putting more elements nto the network, especially into datacentres.”


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