Monthly Archives: September 2010

Remote collaboration, anyone?

It may just be that this is the Green ICT Programme but I have been struck today that two different groups of people who want to talk to me about Green ICT have both offered the option of either a face-to-face or meeting by some sort of remote collaboration tool. One of the requests is for a workshop on sustainability for colleges in the North-East, and the other an invitation to debate the way forward in respect of Green ICT with senior folk from a university in the north of England.
One issue with video-conferencing is that historically it’s implementation and delivery and the overall experience have left something to desire, and those bad experiences can easily colour attitudes to the technology.
Hopefully the three JISC projects looking at various aspects of video-conferencing, remote collaboration and the greening of events will help to provide the firm foundations that we need to take the use of V-C and other tools to reduce the wear-and-tear on us and the planet from the need to meet and do business with each other.

Salix investment opportunities workshops

People in the sector with an interest in greening their ICT and who are already Salix clients might like to come along to one of the two workshops being laid on by Salix Finance and the JISC funded Suste-IT initiative.

Salix Finance is an independent, publicly funded company, set up in 2004, to accelerate public sector investment in energy saving technologies through invest to save schemes. Salix has public funding from the Carbon Trust and the Learning and Skills Council and is working across the public sector with Local Authorities, NHS Foundation Trusts, Higher and Further Education institutions and Central Government.

These workshops, the first at Kings College, London on 20th September and the 2nd on 23rd September at Nottingham Trent University  will highlight opportunities for existing Salix clients to identify practical examples of innovation that could meet the criteria for Salix funding.

Topics to be covered include:

  • European Code of Conduct on Energy Efficient Data Centres
  • Energy efficient cooling of data centres (e.g. evaporative, free, variable DX)
  • High efficiency UPS and high efficiency transformers
  • Energy efficient purchasing and operation of PCs and servers
  • Powerdown and other software

The workshop will also provide an opportunity for discussion of areas where opinions about the energy ‘balance sheet’ are divided, such as thin client and virtualisation.

Salix are making a small charge fro this workshop – £40 + Vat for one person – £20 for a second person from your organisation, no charge for a third. Email to register

Small scale carbon footprinting

At the RECSO project workshop yesterday in London, I had a chance coversation with Martin Sepion, Senior Adviser at the JISC RSC for London.

Martin told me about some work carried out at Bromley Adult Education College, in south-east London. Following attendance at an RSC  Green ICT conference in 2009, staff from the college investigated the ways of replacing computers in  a teaching room with more efficient equipment. The chosen solution was one from Ncomputing – a system that is somewhere between conventional thick clients and thin-client solutions. The System essentially allows one PC to run up to 11 sessions with separate monitors.

The team made use of the JISC developed Suste-IT carbon-footprinting tool to assess the savings made. This was estimated at 38% in terms of KW hours.

What makes this an interesting little snippet of good news is the use of the footprinting tool for a small scale assessment of change – in this case just a room. It would have been really nice to have had some metering in place to gather some real life data before and after to allow us to validate the assumptions in the tool, but that is the sort of activity that should be covered in the JISC funded “Does ‘thin client’ mean ‘energy efficiency’?” project being run at Leeds Met at present.