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Green IT event promotes more sustainable technology

30 September 2010

man using laptop in park

The Higher Education and commercial sectors in the UK have been benefiting from Information Services' experiences at a recent 'Greening Data Centres and Storage' event held at Cardiff University.

The conference, which was attended by delegates from across the UK, reviewed the lessons learnt from the implementation of Cardiff University's ARCCA (Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff) data centre and other recent green IT projects. The event was organised by Peter James, Director of SusteIT, a national JISC-funded sustainable ICT project.

Benefits

There are wide-ranging benefits to the wider HE and commercial sectors from hearing the experiences of Information Services and others, in sharing best practice to balance the technological and user requirements of data centres, alongside minimising the environmental impact of the work.

There was also active discussion around the wider context of IT developments, within the context of Higher Education and the commercial sector. The event featured contributions on commercial IT data centres and the sharing of ideas in discussion groups, ensuring that all of the day’s delegates left with new ideas for greener ways of working.

Initiatives

As Chris Dickson, Information Services' Eco Champion, explains: "A huge range of initiatives have been undertaken right across Information Services and ARCCA, working in partnership with other University divisions to minimise our environmental impact and electricity costs whilst maximising the quality and efficiency of our services, in active support of the University's sustainability agenda. We were pleased to work with Peter James and SusteIT on this, the second such event held at Cardiff University.

"It was important that Hugh Beedie, Chief Technology Officer of Information Services and ARCCA, explained the technical details of our data centre during his presentation, as well as honestly review the lessons learned," continued Chris. "By sharing our ideas and experiences with those of colleagues elsewhere in the sector, we can all have the maximum impact in driving down carbon emissions."

In addition, Paul Rock from Information Services presented the internationally-leading project 'Planet Filestore', again funded by JISC, which seeks to minimise the electricity consumption and carbon emissions of an institutional networked file service.

SusteIT

The 'Greening Data Centres and Storage' event was a collaboration between Information Services and SusteIT, a JISC project in sustainable ICT.  

Organiser Peter James said: "We were delighted to work with Cardiff University again, as they are developing and implementing several areas of leadership and good practice in minimising the environmental impact of ICT. The feedback from delegates was also very positive. The Cardiff experience adds to the growing body of evidence, from the JISC Green IT programme, and our own SusteIT project, that universities can reduce the environmental impacts from their computing activities."

Inspiring positive change in the ways that IT is used in commerce and academia is central to ensuring the continuing sustainability of services, developing new solutions that benefit the environment. Information Services also aims to deliver net environmental benefits by providing greener ways of working for the wider University community.

 


Find out more about Sustainability in Information Services and Cardiff University.

Read more about the sector-leading Planet Filestore project.

View the SusteIT website for details of their project on 'greening' scientific computing.