What 2009 Brings for Green IT: Experts Predict

What 2009 Brings for Green IT: Experts Predict

As the end of the year approaches, it is time for predictions and looks-back of all types, and green IT is no exception. While year-end lists are starting to percolate through the web, Inforworld's Ted Samson has pulled together a good roundup of predictions from experts in the industry.

Woven throughout the predictions are the grim state of the economy, although as Preston Gralla wrote yesterday, the recession won't likely slow down corporate green IT initiatives.

Among the most cost-effective green strategies in the list are a suggestion from IBM's Steve Sams to extend "the life of their datacenter -- numerous opportunities exist throughout the datacenter to do more with less, [and rationalize] end-to-end datacenter infrastructure."

Will Swope, the VP of Intel's Corporate Sustainability Group, echoes this idea when he predicts, "There will be real pressure on IT to reduce operating costs, much of which will be achieved by implementing projects such as more efficient datacenters." In addition to using IT more efficienty, Swope also suggests that IT will be put to use in making all of a company's operations more efficient -- whether that's in building controls, manufacturing efficiency, supply chain efficiency, or any other carbon-intensive area of operations.

Cloud computing makes an appearance in the predictions, with Robert Aldrich, Cisco's director of datacenter solutions predicting that telework and cloud computing will replace virtualization as the next "killer app", and Lewis Curtis, an infrastructure architect and advisor at Microsoft writing:
In 2009, competition will increase for the green cloud. Who is the greenest cloud provider for your applications and solutions? Which cloud providers will report environmental metrics and provide concrete green operational level agreements for enterprises which you can use for verification in your own environmental reporting? Currently, we don't know how cloud providers will compete with green services. However, by the end of 2009, I predict we'll start finding out some answers.
Sun's Subodh Bapat is among the experts to predict that power management will play a bigger role in green IT next year, not just in "throttling down servers," he writes, but also in other IT equipment. Forrester Research's Doug Washburn takes this idea a step further, writing that PCs will "steal much of the green IT spotlight away from the datacenter," in part because companies are realizing just how much energy can be saved by optimizing their workstations and laptops.

Samson himself agrees that power management will play a big role next year. He goes on to predict that toxics like PVC and flame retardants will be under the microscope in 2009, and that more data centers will embrace LEED-certified design.

Read the full, extensive list of predictions at infoworld.com.