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Questioning the Reality of Green IT Initiatives

By Mary Jander, September 19, 2007, NOON

Each week brings news of some fresh "green IT" initiative. This week's item: The Green Grid has allied itself with the U.S. Department of Energy and started several European work groups.

The bulletin fits the trend in "green IT" news, which currently focuses mainly on group efforts with unclear objectives. A few storage suppliers laid claim to energy savings in various thinly veiled advertisements for their wares a few months back, but they've since backed off. (See Big Blue Launches Big Green, HP Maps Greener Data Center, and Copan Pushes Power Savings.)

Don't get me wrong: Energy savings and the green data center are imperative priorities. And there is much expertise available to help out. It's also true that saving energy is the most politically correct cause to emerge in IT since... well, ever. It plays into everything that's potentially noble in corporate culture. But like world hunger, it's an issue that's easy for opportunists to abuse.

If it were otherwise, we'd surely see solid results in balance with all the green talk. Instead, results of a survey from ONStor released this week suggest a growing energy crisis in many data centers.

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