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Reed refreshes IT with thin clients

High-street recruitment agency Reed is to complete the replacement of 4,500 HP desktop PCs with thin clients by the first quarter of 2008 in a move that will save it £200,000 per year in reduced energy costs.

It forms part of a £2.5 million technology refresh across 300 branches aimed at reducing annual IT spend by 20%, partly through reducing power consumption.

"We were looking to replace our legacy PCs and servers while meeting the cost reduction targets set by management," said Sean Whetstone, head of IT, Reed Managed Services. Reed worked with The Carbon Company, which helped it identify where energy savings could be made.

The thin-client system allows Reed to switch of all PC terminals overnight, using 95% less energy per week, a saving of approximately 3.8 million kilowatt hours per year.

Whetstone said that Reed had completed 96% of its refresh and that replacing PCs with thin client terminals from Wyse had reduced energy consumption per desktop from 185 watts to 17.2 watts. The total cost of the terminals supplied by Wyse was £600,000.

"The biggest challenge in moving over to a thin client environment is convincing the business that applications will still work," said Whetstone. He said Reed had not moved all its applications to run on thin clients, for example computer-based training, because of compatibility issues with Citrix.

The company will also replace 500 HP servers in the data centre with 100 64-bit blade servers using VMware virtualisation to gain more processing power with less hardware. Whetstone said that servers were not being used to their full capacity and were generating significant heat which then needed to be removed through air-conditioning.


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