[ Software from companies such as BDNA and Tideway can also help companies slay zombie servers. ]
At the heart of the recommended strategy is for California to move from desktop PCs and CRT monitors to laptop systems. "Upgrading from desktops to notebook PCs reduces energy consumption by more than 26 times," the report notes.
That, of course, is a general figure. The state has more accurate information about the power consumption of a portion of its machines, thanks to the data gathered by BDNA Insight and system-specific specs provided by the BDNA Catalog. Once the state completes a full survey of its entire IT infrastructure, the picture will become all the clearer.
"Historically, California has described its IT Infrastructure based on estimates and high-level statistics. These estimates have largely been derived from surveys and manual inventories (e.g. 254,000 employees, 225,000 computers, 9,500 servers, 100-plus e-mail systems)," the report says. "For California to fully implement infrastructure change, there must be a comprehensive and accurate inventory of its current fleet. A detailed inventory will establish an equipment baseline and provide information on all segments of the IT equipment infrastructure. Only with this data can California develop policies, set priorities, and move to a more mobile and efficient PC fleet," the report says.
Back to the laptops: The report also notes that portable PCs enable "work-anywhere flexibility," meaning that it opens the opportunity for state workers to telecommute. "If 10 percent of the state's employees do not commute daily, it is the equivalent of taking 500 cars off the road each year, which would remove an additional 6 million pounds of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere."
Other recommendations for California include establishing a policy-based power-management strategy -- that is, an approach to powering down machines when they aren't in use. This can reduce power consumption and carbon emissions per user by 40 percent, according to the report -- plus California utility companies PG&E and SMUD offer rebates to customers employing power management.
Yet another recommendation to the state is to extend the hardware refresh cycle from three years to four. Not only does that save money on investing and deploying new gear, but extending the life of hardware postpones its inevitable retirement, which has clear environmental benefits.
There's more to be found in Intel's recommendations, but the important point here is that the success of the state's green IT initiative relies on gaining a clear picture of where it's starting, as well as how it's progressing. The beauty of a solution such as BDNA's is you can use it to inventory your IT equipment on an ongoing basis and measure your progress, so as to assess whether you've achieved your goals. In California's case, if the state moves forward with the recommendations, it would be able to measure the collective power consumption and carbon emissions of its fleet of end-user hardware down the road and compare the figures to the original measurements.