“There’s been a lot of over-capacity for a long time,” added Lafferty. “I think with the onset of virtualization, you’re getting more efficiency through fewer servers. With the consolidation there, you gain the benefit of not needing to cool and to power as many servers.”
Lafferty encouraged other colleges and universities to map out their own campus technology department’s energy use.
“Utilize some of the tools that are available, either from the EPA or the Department of Energy, to really get a take on what you have and what your energy consumption looks like,” he said. “[Then] build a strategy to address those needs.”
CDW-G suggested the following strategies to cut back on energy use in campus technology departments:
• Deploying more power-efficient core switches;
• Replacing edge and workgroup switches with more power-efficient switches;
• Using the network as a platform to manage and reduce energy use;
• Adopting 10GB Ethernet, Infiniband technologies;
• Reducing storage area network infrastructure by implementing Fiber-channel Over Ethernet (FcOE); and
• Moving to top-of-rack models for access layer switching.
CDW-G found that of those organizations already actively trying to manage their energy use, 56 percent have reduced their annual annual IT energy costs by at least 1 percent.
Data centers currently account for 1.5 percent of the total U.S. energy consumption, which accounts for $4.5 billion a year, according to federal figures. The Environmental Protection Agency has predicted that that amount will nearly double within the next five years.