Virtualisation is fast becoming the ‘got to have it’ technology across the globe. Seductive as a money saving initiative - through its capacity to reduce hardware, maintenance and administration costs (20% to 50% cost saving according to Gartner research) - it can also allow companies to take huge strides towards achieving another modern IT phenomenon: ‘Greener IT’. Its ‘Green credentials’ lie in the software making for more efficient use of data centre resources - by allowing physical servers to be consolidated into one or more virtual servers, which typically run on commodity hardware. More efficient use of resources means less hardware and power consumption. Subsequently the reduction in hardware and power consumption equates to financial savings and a smaller carbon footprint.
The use of thin client computers within virtualised environments helps to reduce carbon emissions; as the manufacturing of these ‘dumb’ terminals involves significantly less than the 1.8 metric tonnes of fossil fuels, chemicals and water used in the production of a standard PC and monitor. Furthermore every server virtualised with VMware is equivalent to removing 4 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the environment, or taking 1.5 cars off the road annually.
Virtualisation facilitates flexible working by allowing for easy ‘hot desking’ from remote locations. The well documented environmental benefits associated with flexible working include; reducing organisations power, heating and general energy consumption through the reduction of in house staff, as well as lessening the environmental damage caused by slow, pollution maximising commutes.
Going green costs capital, time and effort. However virtualisation offers a way to reduce energy and materials usage, along with greenhouse gas and polluting emissions, while still offering concrete and compelling business benefits. Organisations are increasingly finding that time and capital invested in virtualisation is worth spending.