Agencies find savings on energy consumption in the cloud

Agencies find savings on energy consumption in the cloud

There are several compelling operational reasons for government agencies to choose client virtualization to modernize client computing, including easier management and support, greater control and enhanced security.

According to Dan Griggs, virtualization solution architect at CDW Government, the pared-down design and features of thin clients, which often replace traditional desktop computers, also cost less to adopt and run. “Thin clients are more energy efficient, resulting in lower electricity bills, and possess the less tangible yet valuable benefit of being green technology,” Griggs explained.

According to the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a nonprofit group of eco-conscious consumers, businesses and conservation organizations, government organizations should buy high-efficiency systems for a majority of their organization's PC and volume server computer purchases and commit to using power management tools on their existing PCs. The average desktop PC wastes nearly half the power delivered to it as heat, and the average server wastes nearly a third of its energy, which translates into money lost and unnecessary environmental impact. Energy-efficient computers can cut energy bills by an average of $5 to $7 per system per year. Equally important, today's desktop and laptop PCs have power-saving capabilities built into them. Sleep and hibernate modes can reduce the overall amount of energy consumed by as much as 60 percent.

On average, meanwhile, computer displays that have earned the Energy Star rating are 20 percent more energy efficient than conventional options. If all displays sold in the United States met Energy Star requirements for displays, it’s estimated that the energy savings would grow to about $1 billion each year and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from nearly 1.5 million vehicles.

In CDW-G’s "2010 Energy Efficient IT Report," one major finding was that organizations with successful IT energy reduction programs are actively working to upgrade desktop systems and consolidate data centers. In fact, according to the report, top energy-saving measures being utilized now include:

1. Migrating monitors from CRT to LCDs, cited by 65 percent of survey respondents.

2. Buying servers and other data center equipment employing new, low-power and low-wattage processors, mentioned by 64 percent of respondents.

3. Buying thin-client PCs that employ newer, low-power and low-wattage processors, mentioned by 59 percent of respondents.

4. Making full use of power management tools in desktop computer operating systems, cited by 51 percent of respondents.

5. Redesigning data centers to balance equipment and cooling requirements, mentioned by 43 percent of respondents.

About 80 percent of the organizations surveyed have or are developing programs to manage and reduce energy use in IT operations. And 56 percent reported they have reduced IT energy costs by 1 percent or more. Another 21 percent have flattened or reduced IT energy use, but increasing prices for electricity continue to drive up energy costs. Griggs pointed out that although most IT managers surveyed said they won’t pay a premium for energy-efficient technologies, 31 percent said their organizations would pay a premium, and only 17 percent believe the cost of more energy-efficient equipment is prohibitive.

The few remaining barriers, according to the CDW-G report’s findings, were that senior managers give higher priority to investments in other areas. Also, the people who pay the organization’s energy bills do not separate or pay attention to IT energy use.

About this Report

This special report was commissioned by the Custom Media Group, an independent editorial arm of 1105 Government Information Group. Specific topics are chosen in response to interest from the vendor community; however, sponsors are not guaranteed content contribution or review of content before publication. For more information about 1105 Government Information Group Custom Media, please -email us at