Many of the virtualization software and solution providers have locked on to this “Go Green” buzz word. You can’t help but see it every where on the web, in the news, and in magazines. While this statement holds true when using server and desktop virtualization this is a marketing strategy used in a time when being Green is “Good”. I am not a big environmentalist and know that I could do more but in my experience “Going Green” is more of an after thought or the bi-product of using virtualization and not the driver. Lets be honest, cost is the biggest driver for just about everything and everyone from the home user to the big business. People are usually not going to just spend money on things just because its Green if the cost is too high.
Vmware has a great enterprise solution which will help companies Go Green and save money in the process by reducing the number of physical servers needed in their environment. They even have a site with information that maybe helpful here. Vmware also has a feature called Distributed Power Management (DPM) which puts servers in Standby reducing power consumption and it’s all done automatically. While DPM is a great idea, this would not be important to me if I was being charged for the power whether I used it all or not. Most of datacenter providers in the US that I have talked to can’t meter power and charge you by usage. We are charge for the maximum capacity of the power drops connected to our power distribution units (PDU). If I was to present this as a technical solution to management the first question will typically be “How much does it cost?” or “When and what is the return on investment?”. This is no different from when I take my car to the mechanic.
The average family has one desktop computer that is shared by everyone in that family, which I say is Green. Instead of buying a pc for everyone in the family, the home pc has user accounts for each person. This gives them their own workspace that they logon to that is customized as they like all on one physical machine. This works fine in my household but for myself, a professional in the technology field, there are actually four computers with a mix of servers, desktops, and one laptop. The servers and desktops run virtualization software with as many as five vm guests. Unless you work in technology, you probably don’t care much about going green with virtualization or even know that you could. My main purpose for using virtualization is that it reduces the number of systems that I’d have to buy which saves me money. So, I can proudly say that I am going Green while saving Green.