Competition among hardware and software suppliers is contributing to environmental inefficiencies in the use of technology by IT departments, making it more difficult for IT directors to go green, Gartner has warned.
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The analyst firm told last week’s ITxpo that IT directors should push the industry hard to embrace green IT even where competition was a potential barrier. It said the use of PCs and servers was creating 0.7% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and the next generation of hardware management systems would have to work hard to track and minimise energy usage.
Gartner distinguished analyst Steve Prentice said one of the major restrictions on IT departments becoming more environmentally efficient lay in software licensing arrangements. He said each upgrade of software released by a software provider often involved upgrading hardware, due to the greater performance required by the new version of the application.
Prentice added that the availability of new versions also saw reduced support for older products, and some users were pushed towards an upgrade they might not need.
“A lot of users are being forced by suppliers to upgrade their software due to support. This is not environmentally friendly,” said Prentice.
Gartner research vice-president Rakesh Kumar said that the logical way to make IT green – managing energy allocation at the chip and blade server level – was currently not possible. Kumar said proprietary server management software was preventing the openness required to manage power usage across a whole datacentre comprising servers from different manufacturers.
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