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Local Government Sets Green Computing Example

Local government is stealing a march on central government in its use of virtualisation to harness cost savings and power efficiencies,

Local government is leading the way with its use of virtualisation, a UK virtualisation specialist claimed earlier this week.

The Green Government Computing event, hosted by specialist technology provider, Intercept gathered technology leaders from the public sector together to discuss the financial and environmental savings available from the latest virtualisation technologies.

Gary Collins, Intercept chief technology officer told eWEEK Europe that local government organisations were stealing a march over their central government counterparts.

“Local government is leading the way with virtualisation because they can adapt more quickly that central government,” Collins said. “Project lifecycles can be managed a lot quicker. And they do speak a lot to each other, share best practice and help to spur each other’s projects on.”

By contrast, he said government departments worked more with systems integrators, operating within long-term contracts on projects of much larger scale and scope.

Keith Clark, head of business improvement at Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council said rapid implementation was key to the success of a recent virtualisation project that consolidated 150 servers down to just eight.

“We wanted to do it 100 per cent and do it quickly,” he said. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have had such a big rate of return. We made sure we knew how we wanted to take it forward and that the risks were manageable first. But the possibility of reducing energy was also a big tick in the box.”

Collins added that a combination of drivers had served to put virtualisation high on local government computing agendas. “The government has mandated all local authorities run carbon neutral operations by 2012 and are carbon neutral across the whole real IT estate and lifecycle by 2020,” he said.

“But nobody does green for the sake of it,” he added. “Virtualisation is not going to be an additional cost if it’s not cost-effective.”

Clark added: “Virtualisation has been hugely positive for our organisation. We have reduced our energy bill by a staggering 44 per cent and predicted a saving of around £1.7 million on projects during a three-year period.

“The technology is maturing at just the right time and we’ve found most of our suppliers are ready for it.”