Kate's Comment

Thoughts on British ICT, energy & environment, cloud computing and security from Memset's MD

Carbon cost of Downloads vs. CDs

A few weeks ago I was party to an initial ‘getting together’ in BAFTA of some key greenie people from the IT industry (me and Emma Fryer, author of many of Intellect’s thought-leadership documents and responses to government policy in the field of carbon reduction) with leaders from the media and entertainment industry. One of the contenscious topics is around the environmental damage of CDs compared with downloads. In this article I will calculate both using common sense and first principals.

Sweat the desktops, replace the servers

People keep going around and around in circles on the debate of whether you should replace servers and desktops sooner rather than later when you take into account the improvements in energy efficiency in recent years combined with the embedded energy cost of manufacture of computers. So, I decided to get out my calculator and made some interesting conclusions. Materials,…

Dispelling the green myths

As more people “wake up” to climate change we are seeing a lot of effort put towards starting to reduce our collective green-house gas emissions. Unfortunately however, there seems to be a lack of quantitative data being applied to many of these efforts, and consequently the media, individuals and business are often focusing on the wrong issues rather than putting…

Utility Computing

I will be carrying on with the “Greening the data centre” series soon, but in the interim several people have recently been asking me about the concept of utility computing, and it has been a major theme of recent IT conferences. Despite the attention the concept is receiving there is still a lot of misunderstanding, both about what it is…

Greening the data centre: Why

I’ve written before about going green being important for business, but now I’d to focus on one area: the data centre. There has been a lot of interest recently in the topic of “green” data centres. however, many organisations still seem to feel that being more energy efficient in is just pandering to the general worries about global warming and…

Power pedals – the electric bicycling experience

In March, with the promise of Summer around the corner, I was eying up my somewhat battered bicycle and contemplating last year’s resolution to actually use it to cycle to work when the weather was pleasant. Not only would it be better for me, but as the boss of a company with a serious commitment to minimising the environmental impact…

The business of going green

Does your business take green IT seriously? Well it should, because ignoring climate change could cost you money and harm your credibility. (originally published in .NET magazine.) There are now over 1.1 billion computers in operation worldwide, collectively producing about one billion tonnes of CO2 through their electricity requirements. E-waste is serious headache too with computers, mobile phones and electronic…

Eco-friendliness: Plant trees or build nukes?

We recently became the first UK Web host to be Carbon Neutral accredited, but does it actually make a real difference? In fact, are we going about all this wholesome planet-saving the right way at all? As an aside, our arch-rivals over at RackSpace claimed they were the first UK Web host to be carbon neutral on the 10th October,…

Good deeds make good business sense

“Corporate Social Responsibility”; yet another of those buzz-phrases that seems to be bandied about ever more, but there is more to it than perhaps first meets the eye and there are many ways in which socially responsible practices are good for business. What’s more, IT businesses seem ideally placed to lead the way. Many large corporates now have a CSR…

Taking the heat

When temperatures rise to record levels, it’s not just trains and water supplies that go wrong; all sorts of infrastructure can be affected including the Internet. Normally our data centres have plenty of over-capacity in their air-conditioning systems. Cooling a data centre is one of their big design challenges – each of our 1 metre square racks uses around 4KWatts,…