What does Green Computing mean?
Green computing is an eco-friendly way of utilizing the computing resources. This is the reason it is also known as Green IT. The technology efficiently uses computers and related components in environment friendly manner.
Evolution of Green Computing
Way back in 1992, shortly after the ‘Energy Star’ program the Green computing was introduced. The very first and impressive results of green computing were the ‘Sleep Mode’ function that was introduced in the computer monitors. As the concept grew, the technology began to encompass thin client solutions, energy cost, e-waste, accounting etc.
Factual descriptions on key reasons for adopting green solutions:
The technology improves the corporate image of the organization. Adopting green computing majorly reduces energy costs by around 74%, along with reduction in the IT maintenance activities.
Green IT extends the useful life of hardware and has a reliability of power which means that the energy consumption by using this technology is low.
Approaches to Green Computing:
Virtualization is the process of executing two or more logical computer systems on one set of physical hardware. It can assist in distributing work so that servers are either busy or put in a low-power sleep state.
The terminal servers are also a part of green computing. When a user accesses the system, the terminal then connects to a central server on which all the actual computing is done on the server, but the user accesses the operating system interface on the terminal.
The power management can play a crucial role as it allows an operating system to control the power-saving features of the underlying hardware. Moreover, when the most components of the computer (including CPU and the system RAM) a system may hibernate.
As the smaller form portable, hard disk drives consume comparatively less power per gigabyte. Similarly, the power consumption can be reduced for the low-capacity flash-based devices.
A major component of LCD monitors typically uses the cold-cathode fluorescent bulb to providing light for the display. In place of fluorescent bulb, the LEDs are used in the newer display screens.
The parts of the computer systems that have outlived its utility can be re-purposed or donated. But, it should be kept in mind that the when the recycling of the old computers is done, it raises an important privacy issue as the old storage device still hold private information, such as emails, passwords, and credit card numbers that can be easily recovered. Therefore, it is preferable to destroy the hard drive or store it carefully somewhere.
In green computing initiatives, technologies like teleconferencing and telepresence are often implemented. There are a number of significant changes involved by using these technologies such as reduction in the overhead cost of office space, lightning etc. The telephony wiring infrastructure is reduced by sharing the existing Ethernet copper in Voice over IP (VoIP).
The Graphics Processing Unit is the largest power consumer in a computer. To use the energy-efficient display option it should include:
- The GPU must be based on low idle power and average Watt.
- Use motherboard video output of a typically low power.
- Do not use a video card in the display, use a shared terminal or desktop sharing software if the display is required.
Some Recent Implementations of ‘Green Computing’
- Blackle – It is a search engine site powered by Google Search which only consumes 74 W of your computer when a homepage or website is open.
- Zonbu Computer – A very energy efficient PC which consumes just one-third power of a light bulb. It runs on Linux OS and uses 1.2 GHz processor and 512 MB RAM.
- Fit-PC – A paperback sized gadget designed to fit where a standard PC is too power hungry, bulky and noisy. It draws only 5 Watts, consumes less power than a PC consumes in 1 hour.
- Sun Ray Thin Client – The thin clients consumes very less electricity than conventional desktops. They consume only 4-8 Watts of power. The sun rays are mostly suited for cost-sensitive environments such as call centers, education, healthcare, etc.
- Asus Eee PC – A small size notebook which has fairly low power CPU. It uses flash memory for storage.
Future of Green Computing
The plan towards the green computing includes the use of such electronics products and services with the optimum efficiency and all possible option towards energy savings. The companies nowadays are looking forward to implementing the Eco-friendly components in computers, the use of sustainable components will become the norm rather than an exception in future.