Another TheyWorkForYou nugget – Thin Client doesn’t equal energy efficient

I like “They Work for You”, a website which tracks things which go on in Parliament. I use the RSS feeds of education ministers to keep an eye on news I’ve missed (such as new statistics published like these, or progress on big programmes like BSF), and I’ve also used it personally to contact my local MP about an approaching vote on publishing MPs expenses. It has to be said, a lot of what is published is quite dull, but every now and again there’s a nugget.

Like last Monday, when Jane Kennedy (who is Minister of State for Farming and the Environment at DEFRA) was asked in a written question “What steps the Department is taking to encourage (a) thin computing and (b) environmentally-friendly computing practices in the public sector.”

And the answer is:

“DEFRA carefully considered the promotion of ‘thin’ clients, which are centrally managed computers with most of the function of the system located in a central server room. However, evidence to date has shown that the increased electricity consumption of these server rooms (e.g. through the air conditioning needed to cool the room) renders this technology less attractive than previously thought from an energy efficiency perspective.

The Government’s "Greening ICT Strategy" published last year sets out a strategy for reducing the environmental impact of Government’s computer systems. One of their main aims is to make the energy consumption of our ICT systems carbon neutral by 2012. We also mandated a set of minimum environmental standards for commonly-purchased products, including ICT.”

Read it yourself here. Just in case DEFRA is new to you, the “E” stands for “Environment”, so they’ve definitely got credentials!

Comments (1)

  1. I would be interested to see a comparison on energy consumption in particular types of rooms when making use of thin clients. There is quite a difference in open plan offices when compared to enclosed classrooms with a bunch of steaming year 10 bodies! I know that Becta could gather the figures for schools but it might mean working with another agency such as LGA to get it from government offices to get the open plan scenario.

    Hmm … a cynic would ask how easy it would be for different groups to work together. The only other way is for a company that has experience of their solutions being used in both situations. As long as it is kept system agnostic as much as possible I am sure that such a report to come out of MS might be interesting reading … hint … hint! I think I might drop a contact at Sun the same question.