CeBIT 2009 Will Tackle Green IT Agenda

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Boxed server rooms and low-energy laptops will be on show – if your carbon footprint allows you to travel to Hanover for the show

Responding to the need for companies to cut costs and cut carbon, Europe’s largest technology exhibition CeBIT will feature a range of sustainably and energy efficient technology, according to organisers.

The exhibition, which kicks off next week in Hanover, Germany, is one of the highlights of the European tech calendar. Over 5,800 exhibitors from around 77 countries and some 495,000 visitors from all over the world attended the show last year, the organisers claim.

This year green and sustainable IT will be a key part of the show with around 2000 square meters given over to a dedicated Green IT World.

Green and sustainable tech at this year’s show will include a so-called “server room in a box” from New Zealand company Thureon. The wall mounted Armarac container holds up to five 19-inch servers and is aimed at hazardous environments where there is not space to build a separate computer room. The 1 cm wide, 48 cm long and 172 cm high, sealed Armarac system keeps dust out and has an integrated temperature control system to regulate heat in extreme conditions, the makers claim.

The Armarac is a compact, wall-mounted box that provides high level security for five fully functioning 19-inch servers and helps save on space and operating costs. It is ideally suited to a wide range of uses in education and government. Other application areas include major construction sites where there is a need for an onsite, secure data centre and production plants where high temperatures make the Armarac’s integrated temperature control system an important feature.

Thureon claims its “Vertiblade’ system gets around the space issue by hanging each server inside the box in a fan-like arrangement. When each server needs to be accessed, the fan of servers can be opened out but otherwise the hardware is packed together to save on space.

Taiwanese hardware maker MSI also plans to show-off some energy efficient tech at the show including two new thin notebooks, the 13in MSI X340 and 15.6in MSI X600, both apparently based on Intel’s Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage platform.

The conference programme at CeBIT will also focus on green and sustainable issues and will feature speakers from government and industry including representatives from the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), as well as keynote speeches from the likes of Google and Volkswagen on their companies’ approach to sustainable tech.

According to Ernst Raue, executive board member for show organisers Deutsche Messe AG, the new Green IT exhibition area was developed in cooperation with the German Association of IT, Telecommunication and New Media (BITKOM) and the Federal Ministry of the Environment.

“Especially in tough economic times, investing in green, energy-efficient IT makes sense on two counts,” said Raue in a statement. “First, companies get to modernise their IT systems, thereby generally streamlining their processes and building critical efficiency reserves. Second, companies investing in energy-efficient IT systems can reduce their operating costs to a considerable degree, especially in regard to electricity costs for cooling data centers.”

According to Sigmar Gabriel, German minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, although green and sustainable IT can have upfront costs it can also yield substantial savings. “If the energy efficient technologies that are already available – and already in use by a small number of forward-looking organisations – were applied on a large scale, a total of 25.8 TWh or 15.3 million tons of CO2 could be eliminated by 2013. This could save operators of computing centers as much as 3.6 billion euros on energy costs alone by 2013,” he said in a statement.