I left Microsoft several months ago, but I’m pleased to read that they are still releasing new tools for lowering the environmental impact of their customer (approximately 1 billion of PC), leveraging the power of software based power management. For example are now available:
- Configuration Manager 2007 R3 (an updated version with some additional features) that allows to monitor the current power usage patterns of distributed Windows PCs and servers, in order to develop, apply and enforce intelligent power management policies. It also report against subsequent power savings and associated carbon footprint reductions. Organizations using it can develop customized power management strategies such as creating policy exceptions for critical systems or enforcing different power settings for peak and non-peak periods. Combined with a procurement policies that take into account the 2007 Energy Star 4.0 recommendation (as an alternative you can also check on EPEAT), (preferably) usage of newer version on Windows (Windows 7 and 2008 have seriously improved power management features) and Microsoft Virtualization it will be a valuable and effective way to make greener the Microsoft based IT. You can find a whitepaper on Power Management for System Center Configuration Manager here and an interesting interview where Windows 7 Manager Discusses Energy-Efficiency Boost.
- Beta 2 of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 5.0 (MAP) that is freely available and works as an agentless tool designed to simplify and streamline the IT infrastructure planning process, including green IT scenarios, through network-wide automated discovery and assessments. With MAP you can obtain comprehensive planning knowledge for migration to energy efficient computing technologies. It can help to uncover potential electricity and carbon dioxide savings for desktops and servers, including the benefits of virtualization via Hyper-V and consolidation for SQL Server.
For a quick assessment you can also look at the Sustainability Calculators that help in estimating your company’s carbon footprint and see the savings that you can achieve through server and desktop implementation of Microsoft Windows technology.
In any case when replacing an old PC and server don’t forget to bring it to a proper collection center where if possible it will be refurbished and reused for not for profit organizations or if it’s too old it will be properly dismounted in order to recycle its metals and avoid pollution and health risks of e-waste. For example you can look at Microsoft Hardware Recycling programs to learn more about Microsoft’s environmental efforts in its consumer hardware products and how you can properly recycle them.
Best Regards Donato