Computer Servers

Industrial Consumer

The environmental impacts of enterprise computer servers depends on much more than the specific products purchased. Server configurations, designs and locations of data centers, and types of backup power supplies are equally important.

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Info on this product category: Computer Servers

Why Go Green

  • Worldwide, data centers use about 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants, according to a 2012 New York Times investigation.
  • Only 6% to 12% of the electricity powering their servers is used to perform computations. The rest is essentially used to keep servers idling and ready in case of a surge in activity that could slow or crash their operations.
  • Many data centers rely on diesel backup generators, which generate exhaust and pollute the air.

 

Tips

The US Green Building Council has developed a certification for green data centers in LEED v4 that covers the wide range of environmental issues involved.  

Criteria for Computer Servers

Elected officials, employees, consultants, and vendors working on behalf of the City are required to comply with the Committee on Information Technology (COIT) Green Technology Purchasing Policy: sfcoit.org/GreenPolicy.  It states:

All computer servers purchased by City departments will be reviewed for compliance with this Policy during the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Review process and any purchases are encouraged to be registered as Bronze level or higher in the EPEAT system at the time of purchase. 

IT purchasers are encouraged to “right-size” their server specification in terms of memory and redundant power supplies, to review manufacturer data sheets of servers that meet the given need, and to choose models with high efficiency over a range of operating loads.

Exceptions:

  • Network infrastructure
  • Appliances
  • Blades

Definitions:

  • Appliances: Computer systems where the hardware, firmware and software are bundled as an integrated purpose-built product to provide a specific computing resource. All applications are pre-installed in the appliances and require minimal configuration before being deployed into existing network. Appliances are closed and sealed and are not designed to allow customers to change the bundled hardware, software or underlying operating system. 
  • Blades: A blade is a compact modular self-contained system consisting of core processing components such as microprocessors and memory, network and nput/output cards that can be inserted into a blade chassis. 
  • Servers: A server is a type of computer or device on a network that delivers computing power, memory, and storage and hosts a multi-processing operating system for the purpose of providing functionality for applications or programs known as ‘clients’.  Servers need to be configured and software installed before deployment into an existing network. 

Last updated

Last updated: 
February 19, 2019

Guide for City Staff

  • Buy equipment through the Technology Marketplace contract. Unlike other citywide contracts, it is a collection of prequalified vendors - not a list of products.
  • Vendors on the Technology Marketplace contract maintain listings of electronic products that meet the City's requirements, and also offer other services such as packaging takeback.