November 16, 2009Doug Hadden
This is section 3.1.5 of a series of blog entries creating a Government IFMIS Technology Evaluation Guide. This includes information to assist in evaluating IFMIS options and the technology requirements for FreeBalance IFMIS implementations. These series will be combined with feedback to produce a comprehensive Technology Evaluation Guide to be published on our web site
Telecoms manufacturer Nortel began publicizing energy consumption in 2008 – claiming that products from rival Cisco required more power. This and the response from Cisco highlighted the issue of environmental sustainability of Information Technology and Communications (ITC) systems.
Energy consumption is not a trivial matter, especially in emerging economies where ITC helps drive growth. It is not a trivial matter in developed countries responsible for the majority of power consumption. It is also economic – Gartner Group estimates that organizations that deploy power management functionality can expect to save $43,300 per year. Using new energy efficient computers is another way to reduce power consumption.
What about software?
Most of the debate on environmental sustainability focuses on hardware. Software companies play a major role in power consumption:
- Inefficient code requires more hardware cycles to perform work
- Requirement for always-on networks increases the power burden on networks and data centers
- Presence of unneeded database tables adds to the power overhead
- Need for a large software middleware infrastructure requires more computing power than is necessary
Many software companies believe in the adage of “throwing hardware at the problem”. Moore’s Law suggests that processing power will double every 18 months. Software companies spend less time on software efficiency and more on feature sets.
FreeBalance and Green IT
FreeBalance designs efficient software for governments that optimize energy consumption. The FreeBalance Accountability Suite was designed to operate on efficient open source middleware. The software code and database design were designed to be efficient with no unneeded tables or functions. And, the software can be deployed on low bandwidth networks or disconnected computers.