My wife is an architect and is into “green” design which I whole-heartedly support. Today she sent me a blog post titled: Server Rooms and the Future of Humanism. It piqued my interested quite a bit mainly due to the fact that one, I am a human… and two that I implement and maintain servers for a living.
The purpose of the article is to raise awareness that servers are bad for the environment due to their stringent cooling requirements. The author (Geoff Manaugh) went so far as to say that a single server can do as much damage to the environment as an SUV. However, of the many remedies that Manaugh purposed, he (hopefully not knowingly) didn’t talk about “server virtualization” at all.
Since Manaugh didn’t raise the awareness of server virtualization, please allow me.
Wikipedia defines server virtualization as: “a method of partitioning a physical server computer into multiple servers that each has the appearance and capabilities of running on its own dedicated machine”.
So think of it like this: typically we think of SUVs as a bad thing for the environment. However SUVs would be at least somewhat better if they were always used to their maximum potential. In that I mean, whenever they are driven there are 8-9 people seated in them. Server virtualization is the same thing. Typically a physical server only uses 10%- 20% of its resources, so you could use a product like VMWare to setup 5-10 “virtual” servers to run on one “physical” server.
I know that I am a total computer geek, but I am really excited by VMWare and I want people to understand that computer software can be “green” too!!