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Past and upcoming events

2009

Go Green

Go Green
hSenid employees are taking up the effort of driving the organization to a more environmental friendly approach. hSenidians have created a dynamic group "The Green Team" with the aim to reduce the carbon footprint of hSenid. This self driven team is put together by a diverse group of individual from diverse departments and organizational levels. Though, the idea and the organization of "The Green Team" which is completely self-driven by the employees of hSenid, the management has committed to support this group with all the necessary arrangements. The group has undergone intense training on how to work effectively as a team, how to brainstorm and develop creative and innovative ideas. Further, the team has the opportunity, on a monthly basis, to present its findings and recommendations to the senior Mgt. team and thus gain their buy-in-power of the green efforts. The initial expectations developed by "The Green Team", is to bring down the organizational wide energy consumption by 35% within the first year.hSenid and its employees are taking the green issue seriously and hope to develop more initiatives like the "The Green Team" in the near future.
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    Virtualization

    Computer virtualization refers to the abstraction of computer resources, such as the process of running two or more logical computer systems on one set of physical hardware. The concept originated with the IBM mainframe operating systems of the 1960s, but was commercialized for x86-compatible computers only in the 1990s. With virtualization, a system administrator could combine several physical systems into virtual machines on one single, powerful system, thereby unplugging the original hardware and reducing power and cooling consumption. Several commercial companies and open-source projects now offer software packages to enable a transition to virtual computing. Intel Corporation and AMD have also built proprietary virtualization enhancements to the x86 instruction set into each of their CPU product lines, in order to facilitate virtualized computing.

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    Terminal Servers

    Terminal servers have also been used in green computing methods. Terminal Services for Windows and the Aqua Connect Terminal Server for Mac, both deliver operating systems to end users. Using this method, users terminal in to a central server. All of the computing is done at the server level but the end user experiences the operating system. There has been an increase in using terminal services with thin clients to create virtual labs. Thin clients use up to 1/8 the amount of energy of a normal workstation. Using thin clients with a terminal server delivers the Windows or Mac operating system to end users while also decreasing energy costs and consumption.

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    Power Management

    The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), an open industry standard, allows an operating system to directly control the power saving aspects of its underlying hardware. This allows a system to automatically turn off components such as monitors and hard drives after set periods of inactivity. In addition, a system may hibernate, where most components (including the CPU and the system RAM) are turned off. ACPI is a successor to an earlier Intel-Microsoft standard called Advanced Power Management, which allows a computer's BIOS to control power management functions. Some programs allow the user to manually adjust the voltages supplied to the CPU, which reduces both the amount of heat produced and electricity consumed. This process is called undervolting. Some CPUs can automatically undervolt the processor depending on the workload; this technology is called "SpeedStep" on Intel processors, "PowerNow!"/"Cool'n'Quiet" on AMD chips, LongHaul on VIA CPUs, and LongRun with Transmeta processors.

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    Power Supply

    Desktop computer power supplies (PSUs) are generally 70-75% efficient, dissipating the remaining energy as heat. An industry initiative called 80 PLUS certifies PSUs that are at least 80% efficient; typically these models are drop-in replacements for older, less efficient PSUs of the same form factor. As of July 20, 2007, all new Energy Star 4.0-certified desktop PSUs must be at least 80% efficient.

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    Storage

    Smaller form factor (e.g. 2.5 inch) hard disk drives often consume less power per gigabyte than physically larger drives. Unlike hard disk drives, solid-state drives store data in flash memory or DRAM. With no moving parts, power consumption may be reduced somewhat for low capacity flash based devices. Even at modest sizes, DRAM based SSDs may use more power than hard disks, (e.g., 4GB i-RAM uses more power and space than laptop drives). Flash based drives are generally slower for writing than hard disks. As hard drive prices have fallen, storage farms have tended to increase in capacity to make more data available online. This includes archival and backup data that would formerly have been saved on tape or other offline storage. The increase in online storage has increased power consumption. Reducing the power consumed by large storage arrays, while still providing the benefits of online storage, is a subject of ongoing research.

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    Video Card

    A fast GPU may be the largest power consumer in a computer. Energy efficient display options include:
    No video card - use a shared terminal, shared thin client, or desktop sharing software if display required.
    Use motherboard video output - typically low 3D performance and low power.
    Reuse an older video card that uses little power; many do not require heatsinks or fans.

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    Display

    LCD monitors typically use a cold-cathode fluorescent bulb to provide light for the display. Some newer displays use an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in place of the fluorescent bulb, which reduces the amount of electricity used by the display.

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    Operating System Issues

    Microsoft has been heavily criticized for producing operating systems that, out of the box, are not energy efficient. Due to Microsoft's dominance of the huge desktop operating system market this omission may have resulted in more energy waste than any other initiative by other vendors. Microsoft claim to have improved this in Vista. This claim is disputed in the community. This problem has been compounded because Windows versions before Vista did not allow power management features to be configured centrally by a system administrator. This has meant that most organizations have been unable to improve this situation. Again, Microsoft Windows Vista has improved this by adding basic central power management configuration. The basic support offered has been unpopular with system administrators who want to change policy to meet changing user requirements or schedules. Several software products have been developed to fill this gap.

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    Display

    Computer systems that have outlived their particular function can be repurposed, or donated to various charities and non-profit organizations. However, many charities have recently imposed minimum system requirements for donated equipment. Additionally, parts from outdated systems may be salvaged and recycled through certain retail outlets and municipal or private recycling centers. Recycling computing equipment can keep harmful materials such as lead, mercury, and chromium out of landfills, but often computers gathered through recycling drives are shipped to developing countries where environmental standards are less strict than in North America and Europe. The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition estimates that 80% of the post-consumer e-waste collected for recycling is shipped abroad to countries such as China, India, and Pakistan. Computing supplies, such as printer cartridges, paper, and batteries may be recycled as well.

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    Telecommuting

    Teleconferencing and telepresence technologies are often implemented in green computing initiatives. The advantages are many; increased worker satisfaction, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to travel, and increased profit margins as a result of lower overhead costs for office space, heat, lighting, etc. The savings are significant; the average annual energy consumption for U.S. office buildings is over 23 kilowatt hours per square foot, with heat, air conditioning and lighting accounting for 70% of all energy consumed. Other related initiatives, such as hotelling, reduce the square footage per employee as workers reserve space only when they need it. Many types of jobs -- sales, consulting, and field service -- integrate well with this technique. Voice over IP (VoIP) reduces the telephony wiring infrastructure by sharing the existing Ethernet copper. VoIP and phone extension mobility also made hot desking and more practical.