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Greening the Data Center: Best Practices for Optimizing Performance
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Green Data Cabinets Feature Editorial

November 05, 2009

Greening the Data Center: Best Practices for Optimizing Performance

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

Companies today, namely their chief information officers, are challenged with not only meeting performance goals, but also doing so in a way that is sensitive to the environment to become truly a “sustainable” enterprise.  For businesses “greening” their data centers, it’s not only an act of kindness to the earth, but to their bottom line as well.

According to Accenture (News - Alert), over 50 percent of customers now consider the environmental record of their supplier when conducting business. And 50 percent of shareholders say they are more likely to buy shares in a company that shows environmental awareness.
Across the globe, enterprises are awakening to the ways that their operations impact the environment in various areas over time. This awareness is especially heightened in the IT sector, as companies investigate and deploy initiatives that promote energy efficiency and sustainable business practices. In fact, the storage capacity needed by the average Fortune 1000 company doubles every 10 months – primarily driven by growth in application data, according to an Accenture report.
Panduit is a prime example of a company that embraces green thinking as both a value and a responsible business practice. Green initiatives permeate every aspect of its business, company officials said, from using recycled, locally purchased materials when practical to developing product and solution offerings that enable energy efficiency and promote environmentally sustainable business strategies. 
The Tinley Park, Ill.-based company has built “green” into its overall approach to its data center products and solutions, including working with its partner ecosystem to create the most effective solutions for its customers. According to Vineeth Ram, vice president of global strategic marketing of Panduit, while it can deliver significant short-term benefits, the idea of a unified physical infrastructure is really designed to provide a long-term sustainability roadmap. This includes an integrated physical infrastructure that can easily adapt to new logical system components – a critical feature since physical layer components typically have a useful life three times that of logical layer elements.
For over 55 years, Panduit has engaged in so-called lean manufacturing and process improvements geared towards business and eco-sustainability. It is this extensive background coupled with a strong partner ecosystem that has given Panduit an understanding of how to successfully balance between both business and environmental goals.
“Companies who are making the largest strides in achieving sustainability goals leverage both their own resources and the knowledge of their key partner relationships,” said Ram. “Panduit embraces sustainability as a core value, and works with its technology partners to develop solutions for the physical infrastructure that are both good for business and good for the environment.”
According to Anil Maheshwari, director, integrated marketing communications at Panduit, the company has conducted numerous global roadshows, seminars and webinars to explain to customers and partners the benefits of a UPI approach. 
“We are enabling our partners through training to show how they can offer more value to the end customer and differentiation through UPI-based solution approach. The analyst community has also taken notice and we are working to deepen their understanding of the UPI vision,” Maheshwari said.
Sustainability boils down to business strategy with a long-term view, and green process initiatives align with and support the company’s goal of being the world’s “lowest cost, highest quality manufacturer of networking and electrical solutions.”
In fact, Panduit has earned recent accolades for its green “thinking.”
The company recently earned the prestigious Oracle 2009 “Enable the Eco-Enterprise” Award, which recognizes Panduit’s ongoing implementation of innovative, sustainable business practices that leverage Oracle (News - Alert) solutions.
“Through the ‘Enable the Eco-Enterprise’ awards, we are rewarding companies who are using information technology to make a favorable impact on the environment,” said Oracle Chairman Jeff Henley. “We are thrilled to see companies like Panduit utilizing Oracle’s products to drive their sustainability initiatives and are proud to honor them with this award.”
Panduit is also taking the green theme to its own buildings. The company is constructing new world headquarters in Tinley Park, Ill. The building is expected to achieve gold certification to reflect Panduit’s mission to promote and design the construction of buildings that are environmentally responsible. The company is unique in that it will run the global business on Oracle software out one a single data center, Maheshwari added.
The new headquarters will use Oracle solutions to drive operational efficiencies throughout the structure, company officials said. The building is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification, reflecting the Panduit mission to promote the design and construction of buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. Specifically, Oracle will enable business rules and the integrated flow of information to drive energy efficiencies and cost savings throughout all Panduit facilities, company officials said.

Erin Harrison is a senior editor with TMCnet, primarily covering telecom expense management, politics and technology and Web 2.0. She serves as senior editor for TMC's print publications, including "Internet Telephony", "Customer Interaction Solutions", "Unified Communications (News - Alert)" and "NGN" magazines. Erin also oversees production of TMCnet's weekly iPhone e-Newsletter. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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