Climate Savers Computing Initiative

Last week a group of technology companies got together to announce the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Led by Google, and Intel, other participants included: Dell, Microsoft, HP, IBM, and The World Wildlife Fund.

While only tangentially related to search, I think it’s great when companies in our space take a direct hand in environmental issues, such as Yahoo! did when it announced its plans to become carbon neutral.

I spoke this past Thursday with John Weisblatt, who heads up the Power and Cooling Group initiative at Dell. He indicated that there were two major components of the initiative:

  1. About 90% of desktop computers are left on all the time. The primary reason for this is that corporate IT managers need to do software updates in the middle of the night so it does not interrupt day to day usage of those machines. By putting basic power management functionality on these computers, it should be possible to save about 57 Billion Kilowatt hours of energy a year, roughly equivalent to the entire power consumption of Switzerland.
  2. There are also opportunities to save power in the design and implementation of servers running at major data centers, such as those owned by the search engines. By moving to lower voltage processors, 2.5 inch drives instead of 3.5 inch drives, and memory that ocnsumer less power, the power consumption of the data centers can be reduced by 25%.

Dell is showing great leadership in these initiatives as well. Jon Weisblatt indicated to me that Michael Dell committed the company to becoming the “greenest tech company on the planet”.

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