Green-The New Computing Coat of Arms

Getting beyond the veil of marketing to realistic goals will be challenging for IT professionals not trained to understand the complexities and interdependencies of how products, architectures, and operational processes roll up to a single green scorecard. A whole raft of consultants has sprung into action to sell everything from green computing audits to a greener way of doing business, while IT vendors are positioning products from green supercomputers to green recycled mouse pads.

The rush to green has resulted in speculation ranging from Web server farms patterned after energy-efficient dancing bees to the creation of a new chief energy officer role who would drive green computing initiatives . It has also spawned a number of interesting technical debates, such as whether a 35-watt thinclient workstation with a 25-watt sleep mode is more energy efficient than a 60- watt PC with a 4-watt sleep mode. Making sense of it all is going to take years. Staying informed while getting involved is, as always, a prudent way to approach a trendy IT topic. In this Issue This issue of IT Professional presents some interesting views about green computing Each of the authors has a lot of passion for the topic, and their articles will help you frame your thinking and challenge some of the conventional wisdom. In “Green Supercomputing Comes of Age,” Wu-chun Feng, Xizhou Feng, and Rong Ge discuss how power and cooling issues in supercomputing have evolved from a secondary concern to a primary design constraint. Meanwhile, San Murugesan, in “Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices,” argues not only that IT businesses can gain a competitive edge by adopting green IT practices, but also that the IT sector as a whole has a responsibility to help create a more sustainable environment. “Making IT a Positive Force in Environmental Change,” is a Perspectives article by Jesse S. Aronson that addresses ways to mitigate IT’s negative affects on the environment. Interestingly, though, he also outlines the many ways that technology helps reduce energy use in other industries. In IT Pro’s new IT Pro/Con department, Barry Shevlin notes the environmental benefits of recycling by selling and using refurbished equipment in the article, “When and How to Use Refurbished Equipment for IT Needs.” And, in the Trends department, Jan Krikke covers the booming market of e-waste recycling in “Recycling e-Waste: The Sky Is the Limit.

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