3Com boosts support for energy-efficient IT


Source: 3Com

In today’s challenging economic environment, it is imperative that organisations take a holistic approach when it comes to deploying networking solutions and business-enablement initiatives. To address the growing need for CIOs to generate more value from their IT and networking investments, 3Com, a contributing member of the Green Grid, today outlined several ways to improve an organisation’s sustainability through its networking infrastructure.

According to a new white paper from industry research firm IDC, “Building the case for an environmentally sustainable networking strategy”, the pervasiveness of networking across the entire enterprise makes it a key enabler of sustainable IT, from the supply chain to improved communications and personal productivity. It also provides numerous opportunities to slash the $6 billion that was spent powering data centers throughout Europe in 2007.

3Com’s David Law, consultant engineer at 3Com, and 3Com’s representative on The Green Grid highlights 7 ways to ensure an organisation benefits from sustainable, energy-efficient networking:

- Move to Voice over IP to take advantage of the cost savings offered by teleconferencing. A recent IDC survey showed that only 32 percent of organisations have VoIP, and only 15 percent of meetings are teleconferences, indicating a huge opportunity to reduce travel costs with efficient IP communications.

- Employ technologies like Power over Ethernet that, for example, enable the network to switch off power to IP phones when they are not in use.
- Plan to take advantage of energy-efficient Ethernet when the standard is ratified in 2010.

- Choose a networking vendor that provides energy efficiency improvements at the chip, memory and power supply unit levels. As each new generation of processor technology reduces the power consumption of networking devices more than PCs or servers, the impact on the budget is accordingly greater.

- Ensure that network bandwidth can handle video for videoconferencing to cut travel costs. Currently, only 9 percent of meetings are videoconferences.
Move network services and applications such as WAN optimisation into the network with integrated network infrastructure solutions.

- Upgrade the network infrastructure. For example, changing older generation switches such as 3Com Switch 4924 to 3Com Switch 4200G in a typical enterprise LAN of 100 Ethernet switches and 2000 network nodes could equate to savings of around 77,890 kilowatt hours.

3Com believes that most organisations are failing to take advantage of the real benefits of sustainable IT because of their incomplete approach to “green” technology. A holistic approach to sustainability, led by IT, can result in significant improvements in cost savings and energy efficiency while meeting the regulatory requirements and government targets.

“Enterprises need to avoid the “tick-in-the-box” approach to sustainable IT and networking,” says David Law, consultant engineer at 3Com, and 3Com’s representative on The Green Grid. “Regulation is undoubtedly driving many organisations to meet defined targets, but this can lead to a piecemeal approach that misses out on the undeniable cost-saving opportunities today and in the future.”

“The number one consideration for most IT managers in large companies now is power - how to provide it, manage it, and conserve it,” says Law. “And this issue will only grow in importance. IT managers need to consider how much power they need now, and how much this is likely to change. For most, it will need to be balanced by cost considerations and, increasingly, by environmental considerations.”

Networking is key to reducing energy consumption and waste because it enables more efficient use of communications. Sustainable networking is about replacing expensive and time-consuming physical transportation with digital communications and services, providing remote workers with WAN optimisation and videoconferencing, and connecting consolidated data centers.

David Law is also Chairman of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group, which is defining a mechanism to reduce power consumption during periods of low link utilisation and a protocol to coordinate transitions to or from a lower level of power consumption.

Customers can hear directly from industry experts from IDC and 3Com on ways to save money and increase the efficiency and performance of their networks by listening to a webinar and downloading the IDC white paper from http://emea.3com.com/greenwebinar

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