Article from Issue 83/2007

The beautiful city of San Francisco is much the same as last year – and the San Francisco LinuxWorld looks much the same, with many of the same exhibitors and guests. I’m even starting to recognize some of the show staff. From what I’ve seen so far, this show could almost be last year’s show, except for one thing. I have only been here for half a day, and I’ve heard one term more already than I heard it at all the other LinuxWorlds I’ve ever attended. That term is power consumption. I’m not talking about power management – like how long your computer can operate on its battery. I’m talking about the problem of reducing power consumption, as in using less to save money. Most people generally believe it is better to conserve energy, but such things never used to get much notice from major IT vendors. The talk used to be about reliability and getting the maximum capacity for the minimum expense. More recent arguments have centered on saving floor space and lowering maintenance overhead. Since when did IT get so interested in the environment? A combination of forces certainly helped bring this issue into focus. Rising energy costs have certainly played a role, but maybe there is something else going on.

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