Article on Green IT Architecture, written by a Microsoft CTO and Field Architect

IEEE Computing has an article, Green: The New Computing Coat of Arms? by Microsoft's Joseph Williams, CTO of WW Enterprise Sales and Lewis Curtis, an architect for developer platform and evangelism. The article is not representative of Microsoft's views, but they are the views of two people who are thinking of Green Data Centers, and have regular discussions with companies who are taking a leadership role in going Green.

An Architectural Approach to Green Computing There’s no simple path to green computing, but there are some low-hanging fruit. You can spin the dial on some straightforward actions, such as orienting racks of servers in a data center to exhaust their heat in a uniform direction, thus reducing overall cooling costs. You can also implement Energy Star guidelines (www. for energy efficiencies in the data center. But these are point solutions. A
comprehensive plan for achieving green computing really does require an architectural approach.

Because of IT’s ecosystem complexities— ranging from the data center to client computing and from customer impacts to business impacts—some investment and process decisions almost always involve trade-offs, or, if you aren’t architecturally proactive in your thinking, a tapestry of unintended consequences. You won’t find a silver bullet or a single vendor solution that will magically make anyone “green.” In fact, given all the interdependencies and complexities, it isn’t entirely obvious yet what a green outcome would even look like.

They close with

Using an analogy from security, in the past 15 years IT has learned that purchasing a firewall doesn’t necessarily make an IT environment secure. It takes an entire security architecture to provide a vision against which secure computing can be executed. The same is true for green computing. Point solutions will help, but really addressing the issue takes an architectural view.

To be Green is going to require somebody in your company to think the way Joseph and Lewis do. The architects are there at most companies, but do they think Green?