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The green-ing of IT?

The movement to green facilities is nothing new. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has been working on bringing environmental awareness to the forefront of business consciousness for some time now. Through smart building design and power usage, companies — more specifically the buildings they inhabit — are certified as green friendly.

That means the company who is certified gets to hang a plaque in the lobby of the building. While that may not sound like much, the small environmental footprint is noble goal to have. Oh, and the company running the building will save a wheelbarrow full of money each year by taking advantage of lower energy costs and other green-back saving strategies which are inherent to certification.

Now it looks like the IT community is jumping on the same bandwagon and noticing that there actually is money in doing the right thing. (I’m sure the idea of wheelbarrows full of money had something to do with the move to eco-conservatism.) The “IT titans,” as CNET so eloquently puts it, include Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Rackable Systems, SprayCool, VWware and American Power Conversion. They are all member of the GreenGrid board, whose goal is to “lower the overall consumption of power in data centers around the globe.”

It’s a good idea for these companies to make this move, but I have to wonder if it is a little late in the game. Data center managers and VARs have, I’m sure, been trying to figure out ways to lower energy consumption in server rooms and data centers for a long time. Different cooling techniques, rack configuration — I bet they’d even hang garland and sing Christmas carols year round if they thought their servers would eat less energy — aren’t exactly breaking news.

But better late than never, and I do see channel benefits in the long run. Once the bureaucracy of forming a group like this is finished and these companies do start putting out green products — products that consume less energy and have a smaller footprint, for example — VARs may be able to take the garland down.

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