UD Information Technologies reminds departments about green computing capabilities.

Green computing

UD's central virtualization service saves money and energy


4:14 p.m., April 19, 2012--The University of Delaware’s Earth Week celebration provides an opportunity for UD Information Technologies (IT) to remind departments about UD’s central virtualization service, an effective way to save money and protect the environment year-round.

“Virtualization is the practice of running more than one instance of a computer operating system on a single machine,” said Steve Timmins, IT Client Support and Services. “For example, one virtual host could run a mix of 20 Windows or Linux servers for various purposes.” 

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“The cost savings is obvious,” he added. “For example, your department could choose between buying a new server for $2,500-$3,500 or leasing a virtual server from IT for $500-600 per year. And if you choose the latter, IT manages the hardware.”

Timmins said that because virtualization allows the University to use fewer physical computers across the entire campus, it’s also a green technology -- virtualization reduces electrical consumption, space requirements, air-conditioning needs and construction requirements. 

“We’ve recently upgraded the UD Computing Center so that we can provide power and cooling more efficiently,” added Jason Cash, IT Network and Systems Services. 

He added that moving to the virtual servers hosted in the Computing Center increases reliability. “Your servers can move out from under desks, spare closets, and congested server rooms into a facility designed for reliability, efficiency and security.” 

“By using our secure and efficient virtualization service, departments can focus on what they’re doing and not worry so much about day-to-day maintenance of their servers,” Cash concluded. 

Robert Spotts, of the dean’s office in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, agreed. “Using IT’s virtualization service has removed the burdens of ownership while allowing us to retain control over the applications running on the virtual servers,” he said.

Spotts said that as more applications migrate from physical servers to IT’s virtualization service, the Lerner College expects to reduce expenses. “We’ll save money by stopping the cycle of paying for new servers every 4-5 years, and we’ll reduce our college’s need to provide space and energy for dozens of physical systems.” 

Spotts added that applications run much faster on IT’s virtual server “farm” than they did on the college’s servers. 

The Provost’s Office joined the virtualization service in November 2011. In addition to noting the increased speed of the applications moved to virtual servers, Anarie Rio of the Office of the Deputy Provost, praised the support he’s received: “You get a lot of assistance from the team in charge. They’re always willing to help; as a result, I would recommend the service.”

“IT’s virtualization service is designed to be flexible,” Timmins said. “A department pays nothing up front and can adjust their virtual servers’ capabilities—and their costs—month-to-month as needs change.” 

“Save money, get a flexible service, and help the environment. Can’t beat that,” Timmins concluded.

For more information, visit Virtual Server Information and Pricing or contact the IT Support Center to request help determining which of your department’s applications are candidates for virtualization. Departmental IT professionals can also submit a UD Virtual Machine Request Form to get started.

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