120,000 servers in Ireland create environmental hazard

12 Mar 2008

According to Microsoft, there are currently 120,000 servers in the Irish market with approximately 35,000 more servers per year scheduled to enter the market, creating a staggering level of CO2 emissions.

Speaking at the launch of the company’s new Windows Server 2008 technology, server and tools business manager, Bill O’Brien, said that new technologies like virtualisation will enable firms to consume less power and as a result produce less CO2 emissions.

O’Brien estimates if every business moved to virtualisation they could slash €53m from annual energy costs.

“It’s estimated only 5pc of businesses are virtualised today, that represents a tremendous growth potential and an incredible saving in terms of businesses expenditure on energy year-on-year,” O’Brien explained.

“This could potentially make a real and significant contribution by offsetting carbon emissions by over two million tonnes and reducing cost to businesses from €56m per year to just over €3.5m per year,” he added.

O’Brien also said if every server in Ireland was upgraded to Windows Server 2008, it would remove more than two million tonnes of CO2 from entering the environment every year.

“That is about the same amount of CO2 emissions the Poolbeg power station puts out annually or to put it in terms we may better understand, it is more than the emissions from 392,000 mid-sized cars on the road,” O’Brien added.

O’Brien told Siliconrepublic.com that the Windows Server 2008 is 10pc more efficient than the 2003 version of Windows Server.

“We’ve seen customers virtualise 16 machines down to one machine – there is opportunity there to ensure massive consolidation and make savings in terms of cooling and more efficient servers.”

He said while 5pc of servers in the Irish market are currently virtualised, some 60pc of Microsoft’s customers currently have a virtualisation evaluation project under way.

“This is a hot area right now and offers a lot to business’ bottom line and capability.”

Early adopters of the new Windows Server 2008 software include Ryanair, UTV, Hosting 365, Netforce, Merill lynch, University College Cork and Nissan Ireland.

Nissan Ireland is implementing the software to help reduce energy costs.

“Virtualisation with Hyper-V will allow us to reduce power consumption, build an R&D environment and will form a core part of our business recovery plan,” commented Rory Donnelly, CIO, Nissan Ireland.

By John Kennedy