The Latest Vertatique News & Insights

The Challenge of Reducing Carbon Footprint While Growing Cloud Services Business

We've noted a number of studies that suggest moving to the cloud is the greener solution for most organizations' ICT needs. That's great for client companies, but what about the cloud provider? Companies striving to reduce their C02e footprints while providing cloud services face a challenge: they end up internalizing the very emissions their customers are externalizing. Business software and services provider SAP is facing that challenge. Here is what the company plans to about it.

Renewable Energy for Remote Telecom

This is solar-powered base station on top of a mountain in Lapland (Finland).

Remote ICT infrastructures are embracing renewable energy for everything from earthquake mitigation in Japan. CO2e reduction in India to . Fuel/power costs appear to have gone down since 2009 for off-grid mobile operations, but are still significant. Asia leads world in current renewable base stations and in growth potential. One operator - Indus Towers - now has 20,000 zero-diesel sites.

Longevity - Efficiency - Refinability - Scalability

We've developed and refined our definition of Green ICT over the years, but it is always useful to learn from others. SITA-Research Center is a European initiative "to encourage the collaboration of IT scientists world wide to develop Sustainable Information Technologies and Applications...we focus on simple principles which sustainable IT solutions should meet: Longevity - Efficiency - Refinability - Scalability." How do these four concepts map into our Green ICT perspective?

Our Tools Have Always Had a Carbon Footprint

Assessing the carbon footprint of ITC equipment is a critical part of Green ICT. Much of a piece of gear's footprint comes from "embodied" carbon - the carbon released during is creation and transportation, before the user ever powers it up. It turns out that this has been true since the Iron Age.

'Second Hand' Tech Controversy a Replay of a 1970s Issue

Is the shipment of used ICT to developing areas an example of environmental and economic sustainability by extending equipment lifecycles and making tech available to those who cannot pay market prices for new gear? Or is it a patronizing position that suggests older tech is 'good enough' for some people and that exacerbates these regions' e-waste problems. This issues has similarities to one from 35 years ago.

Free Air & Hot Racks: New Paradigms in Handling ICT Heat

Handling our gear's heat has always been an issue for installations large and small. ICT equipment typical took 1x-2x again more energy to remove its heat as it took to power it in the first place (PUE of 2.0+), driving both energy costs and carbon footprints. Early efforts focused on the two obvious tactics: make both the ICT gear and the air conditioning more efficient. We now see these augmented by innovative new approaches to the problem, ranging from seawater cooling to variable-speed fan retrofits.

Economic Sustainability Must Underlie ICT Sustainability

The Triple Bottom Line (3BL) concept links three aspects of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social. It is sometimes easy to lose track of economic sustainability in our enthusiasm for the other two. The failure of a Euro/African project bringing solar-based ICT to Gambia is a real-world reminder.

Demo Combines Fuel Cells with DC Distribution to Power Servers

The convergence of multiple lines of Green ICT inquiry is a sign of Green ICT progress. We have covered the growing use of fuel cells to power ICT facilities and the advancement of DC distribution inside the data center. A recent demonstration brings these two concepts together to improve energy efficiency and reliability.

Microgrids for Green ICT

Microgrids - small electricity generation and distribution networks - are becoming an increasingly common way to support ICT in remote areas. What distinguish a true remote ICT microgrid from a locally-powered remote piece of ICT gear like a base station? A microgrid is an integrated network consisting of one or more power generating systems, storage, control electronics and a diverse load. Imagine interconnected solar PV and with diesel generation backup powering not only that base station but also a community charging station for phones and tablets and a school's wireless router. To the extent that ICT microgrids support a significant proportion of renewable generation, they contribute to Green ICT and help bring urgently-needed sustainability to ICT4D. Here is a look at the big picture. Future updates will include implementations.

Cisco Green ICT Goals and Tactics

Cisco is consistently a sustainability leader among ICT vendors. Among Cisco's new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals announced in February 2013 is one tied to the issue of siting data centers:

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