In this article, I wanted to share more information that I garnered from Interop 2010 in Las Vegas. While I was attending the session presented by BDNA and Intel on how the state of California was going to save $44 million through green practices, I noticed that there were some interesting numbers and ideas being presented - some that are probably applicable at a higher level to other projects that we all undertake as we look for ways to 'green-up' our projects and our clients.

California's IT infrastructure consists of:

  • 170,000 PCs - 90% Desktops
  • 9,500 servers (early estimate)
  • 100+ email systems
  • A diverse set of technology vendors
  • 130 CIOs state-wide in various agencies

The goal - as an executive order from Governor Schwarzenegger - is to build a greener IT infrastructure in the state of California. The official executive order reads like this:

'CIOs shall develop plans to leverage cost-effective strategies to reduce the total amount of energy utilized by information technology and telecommunications equipment by:

  • 10% by July 1, 2010
  • 20% by July 1, 2011
  • 30% by July 1, 2012"

They realized that the first thing that was needed was an accurate view of the current IT infrastructure and energy consumption. This had to be done before they could derive alternatives for comparison.

However, the challenges BDNA and Intel were facing were large, to say the least.

The challenges:

  • No accurate visibility into IT assets
  • Information derived from historical estimates
  • Based on often incomplete surveys, and manual inventories
  • Time consuming, non-repeatable, inaccurate
  • No centralized repository of IT asset information
  • Fragmented IT groups
  • 100 agencies and departments operating independently
  • Complex IT environment
  • Multiple vendors, editions, versions
  • No standards for OS imaging, patch deployment, SW distribution
  • Size and scale of problem
  • 180,000+ computers, 250,000+ employees

Through detailed planning and use of their own research and analysis tools, BDNA was able to:

  • Create a detailed, accurate IT asset inventory (Both hardware and software;Across agencies and organizational boundaries;Supporting 180,000 employees)
  • Get the entire IT infrastructure mapped in less than 90 days
  • Bring an unparalleled level of IT insight and data enrichment
  • Analyze energy consumption across IT Infrastructure
  • Create a basis for Green IT policy recommendations

What they found was that there were more than 170,000 PCs in service (87% desktops, 13% laptops). The PC infrastructure is currently consuming 76 million kWh/year at a cost of more than $9 million. Those 76 million kWh/year requires power generation facilities to emit more than 87,000 tons of CO2, which is the equivalent to the amount produced in a year by 10,000 cars. The most amazing information for me is the second part of that last sentence. When I think of introducing green processes to an organization, I'm thinking directly of how those processes affect that company. What BDNA did was go a step further and look at how the state of California's energy usage affected the power plants and, in turn, affected the environment as CO2 production from their energy consumption. Amazing.

How the state of California is going to benefit from the greening process they will be going through.

Recommendations As a result of their 'discovery' findings, BDNA came forth with many recommendations.

#1 - Refresh First, it was obvious that a hardware refresh was necessary. Older PC - especially desktops - may not serve needs very well while at the same time costing significantly more than laptops in terms of energy consumption. This is to be a staggered process based on user needs and to last no longer than four years.

#2 - Enable mobility This concept is to transfer the IT infrastructure to enable worker mobility. The goal is to shift from 90% desktops to 70% laptops during the hardware refresh. They also plan to architect the virtual PC environment with mobility in mind and incorporate business continuity planning into the process - something that has been sorely lacking to this point.

#3 - Standardize on business class PCs Think smarter, faster. Smart end-point virtualization and enhanced security capabilities.

#4 - Enable telecommuting In an effort to further reduce the carbon footprint, the plan is to enable and increase telecommuting in the great state of California. This results in fewer cars on the roads, smaller facilities, etc. An older desktop with an older style CRT monitor running no power management features typically uses 1,105 kWh/year. A typical 3 yr old desktop with an LCD monitor and no power management enabled uses 938 kWh/year. A 1 yr old desktop with no power management uses 655 kWh/year. A typical 1 yr old desktop with power management features turned on utilizes 229 kWh/year and finally a newer Core 2 Duo laptop uses only 59 kWh/year in energy consumption. In four years, through just a standard proposed hardware refresh, the state of California would reduce their annual energy consumption from the current $9 million/year to $3.5 million/year by transforming their infrastructure from mostly older desktops to mostly new laptops.

The projected beneficial outcomes include:

  • Reduced CO2 output due to switch to energy-efficient laptops
  • Switch to more energy efficient computers
  • Transition to a telecommuting mobile work force
  • Will cut CO2 output from power generation facilities by 54,000 tons/year
  • The equivalent of taking approximately 9,000 cars off the road

Combined CO2 reduction (Telecommuting + switch to laptops)

  • Assumes 20% telecommuting 1day/week, 8% telecommuting full time
  • 132,000 ton annual CO2 reduction at the end of year four
  • The equivalent on removing about 22,000 cars from the road each year

Operational efficiency total cost of ownership (TCO) reduction

  • Refreshing PCs with HW-based security & active management technology
  • Reduce TCO by $779 per PC per year
  • More than $132 million in direct savings per year

Overall total cost of ownership reduction

  • Potential to reduce annual TCO by more than half
  • From approximately $962 million to approximately $458 million

Direct savings of $44M in projected energy costs

  • Over 4 year PC refresh cycle

Shorten decision-making time

  • Accurately extrapolate data for 119,000 PCs

Indirect reduction of 205,000 tons of CO2 emissions