HCC opts for virtualization to stay 'green'

by Abhinna Shreshtha    Aug 11, 2010

Construction major, HCC, is in the process of taking steps to keep a check on its energy consumption. The company intends to consolidate its server infrastructure in order to mitigate power usage. To this effect, HCC has already evaluated which servers it intends to should be virtualize.

Virtualization has become a popular technology for companies that are relooking at the power consumed by its server arrays. This is mainly due to the fact that a server’s compute power is never utilized to its maximum levels. Utilization rates have been found to be at best below 50 percent. Improving server utilization by increasing the number of workloads on a single physical server is one way to streamline under-utilized hardware. Virtualization helps improve utilization levels by consolidating multiple server instances onto a single machine. This reduces the number of physical servers, effectively reducing the power consumption as well.

Speaking to CXOtoday about its server consolidation initiative, Satish Pendse, CIO of Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) said, “Using virtualization, coupled with blade technology, power consumption can be cut down by a significant amount. We have initiated virtualization of servers where ever possible in our data centers.”

Pendse further added, “As of now, servers are normal pedestal and rack-based. Each server has two power supplies for redundancy. This consumes around 300 to 420 watts per server. A high number of servers leads to more heat generated, which further increases costs of cooling.”

HCC is also considering other options for reducing power consumption in their data centers. However, its green IT initiatives are not restricted to the data center only. It is also trying to cut down paper usage by employing document management systems wherever possible. Data management systems can offer organizations a way to cut down on unnecessary printing costs. Such systems also offer multiple features such as records management; data security, wherein misuse of confidential data can be mitigated; collaboration and workflow management.

The construction company has also made it a policy to only buy desktops and IT hardware that carry an Energy Star certification, which is an international standard given to products that follow its energy efficiency guidelines. Even though Pendse agrees that creating an eco-friendly organization is very important, he advises CIOs to spend wisely. “The cost of creating a ‘greener’ organization should not exceed the benefits of going green, he warned.