Power struggle could be costly

The electricity consumption of datacentre servers and desktop PCs should be a concern for any IT director looking to make savings in their IT systems.

The electricity consumption of datacentre servers and desktop PCs should be a concern for any IT director looking to make savings in their IT systems.

As Danny Bradbury points out in our feature article on page 32, until recently, power consumption was not considered an important issue. But anyone who has bought a desktop PC recently, whether for home or the office, will notice that faster processors and bus speeds plus more memory mean that modern PCs are being specified with larger and larger power supplies.

For a single PC in the home, this may not amount to much, but what about company-wide - the PCs on every desktop? If Moore's Law is delivering twice the performance for the same purchase price every two years, how much is power consumption increasing year-on-year?

Few IT director assess this. The bottom line, until now, has been the total cost of ownership (TCO) in terms of the cost of hardware and the running costs in terms of maintenance and support. But does a low TCO take into account "invisible" running costs - the heat dissipation and power consumption of the hardware? Heat means cooling systems, which add to overall expense and electricity consumption.

It is time for the industry to take power consumption seriously and for IT directors to educate end-users on why they must switch off after they log off their desktop PCs. Without a change, any saving the IT department has made through greater efficiency and consolidation will be eroded.

 

 

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