Information and Technology

Network Technology: Saving Money While Saving Energy

Story posted June 08, 2007

As the demand for data storage and system management increases, new technologies must be used to maximize storage while reducing energy use and management costs. In response to this trend, we are replacing large rack-mounted servers with compact Blade servers, which use reduce overall energy usage and allow for greater flexibility in our data center.  One new Blade server uses 6.5 times less electrical power and provides 40-50 times the computing capacity than the servers it replaced. The old servers drew power individually and around the clock, whereas the new Blade servers share power supplies and only use it when they are actually performing work.

Hand in hand: Virtualization further optimizes new Blade technology
Traditional rack-mounted servers use only 5-10% of their processing capacity on average to perform their tasks.  VMware software has allowed us to virtualize over 75% of the services we offer, and allows one physical hardware server to run many server applications concurrently rather than requiring a "real" server for each application.  We retired 45 servers and virtualized the services that they housed; the same services now reside on 7 Blade servers.  Because fewer physical servers are used to perform the same service load, using virtual servers also reduces the energy required for cooling.


Bowdoin Information Technology is committed to employing greener technology without sacrificing performance. One new Blade server uses 6.5 times less electrical power and provides 40-50 times the computing capacity than the servers it replaced.