Greening IT is an initiative to reduce the environmental impact of information technology at OSU. The Greening IT group provides value to the OSU community through outreach education and reducing university expenditures in electricity, paper, HVAC, toner, and equipment purchases.
Lucas Friedrichsen, IT Manager with Information Services, is leading a broad task force to explore the interests, issues, practical concerns, and technical concerns associated with "greening" information technology. The group is comprised of members that have a passion for sustainability and reducing OSU's impact on the environment.
The task force uses the 80/20 concept to select topics that have the largest impact across the university. Using that mantra, committee members research problems or processes and develop best practices to share with the OSU community, the IT community, and beyond. For example, methods to reduce paper and toner usage by all members of the community is one of the first areas under investigation.
The current, ongoing topics are:
Targeted communications will be emailed to OSU associates and posted to the website on a regular basis. Communications will be derived from industry and academic research and from projects that committee members lead.
Additionally, a website to educate the OSU community on steps that individuals can take to reduce their computing impact on the environment is now online.
Keith Price and the College of Engineering have developed a system to manage power consumption in the computer labs. COE will assess the reliability of the sleep/wake process and remote management capabilities and determine how much time the machines have been asleep when they would otherwise have been awake.
The system being assessed involves Linux and PC-based computers across several COE labs. A script runs every 5 minutes to see if a user is logged in to a machine. Once a user is no longer logged in, the machine will put itself to sleep (S3 mode). Additionally, a web-based program allows lab users to view the current usage of a particular lab and lab managers to control the power settings for the computers.
Following an assessment of the COE system, the Greening IT team hopes to recommend that the majority of the open labs on campus use a single lab management system with consistent power settings.
The College of Engineering projects that sleeping its 400 lab computers during times of inactivity will save $8,000 annually.
July 2011 - Conferred with Russ Born at Student Computing Facilities about lab management methods. Talked to COSINe and other groups on campus that manage computer labs.
October 2011 - Discussions with Network Engineering about network switch changes to enable consistent management of computers that are put to sleep. Began to assemble documentation about Wake-on-LAN and the associated caveats. Progress was made on lab management documentation and the investigation of paper waste reduction within College of Engineering labs.
January 2012 - Document and demonstrate a lab management system that could be used across campus. Determine the feasibility of a centralized management system and any hindrances to implementation.
Large clusters of computer servers and networking equipment, known as data centers, provide the physical infrastructure for key computer services. Lucas Friedrichsen, IT Manager for Information Services, is leading a task force to assess OSU data center efficiency and develop recommendations from energy audits and industry research.
Reduce HVAC and electricity usage in data centers.
September 2011 – Met with Brandon Wells, Kerr data center manager, to determine PUE numbers for the Kerr data centers.
October 2011 - March 2012 – Work with Network Services to identify all data centers on campus, then work with data center operators and the OSU Sustainability Office to audit and collect information about data center electricity and HVAC usage.
December 2011 – Provide a list of 5-10 industy "best practices" commonly used in data centers to increase operational efficiency.
Brian Staffenson, a staff member of University Housing and Dining Services, is investigating paper usage within his department, determining which processes are most reliant on paper documentation, and understanding how paperless or near-paperless processes can impact workflow.
Develop methods and recommendations to reduce paper usage across campus and beyond.