Ideas International, the Australianbased listed IT research and consulting firm, has launched a ‘carbon calculator’ for the operators of large computer installations to estimate their carbon footprint. Ideas International, a small listed company with offices in the US and Europe, is run by former Garradin systems chief executive, Stephen Bowhill.

Garradin was acquired by Bravura last year for an estimated $10 million. The calculator was launched as part of a revamp for Ideas’ analysis tool, Server Consolidation Analysis Resource (Server CAR). Ideas has been providing research and advice on IT hardware consolidation for several years as companies look to reduce maintenance and administration costs related to IT infrastructure and take advantage of virtualisation technology.

Virtualisation is one of the hottest topics in the IT industry. It is about breaking the direct one-on-one relationship between the physical nature of a server and the applications and data running on it. In terms of business benefit, it means making better use of the IT investment. This has flow-through benefits in cost of operations, power and cooling savings and also carbon footprint reductions.

This means it is a major enabler of server consolidation. IT installations are big users of electricity for both power and cooling. Ideas International estimates that they account for about 2 per cent of all emissions. Bowhill said: “It is possible to make very substantial reductions in both carbon footprint and electricity costs in the order of 80-90 per cent by simply harnessing the benefits of new server technology.

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