Mar 16 2009

Dashboard: March 2009

Dashboard: March 2009
Photo: ImageSource/photolibrary

Updated Energy Star Requirements

When it’s time to refresh equipment, consider buying desktop and notebook computers and monitors that meet stringent government energy-efficiency standards, such as Energy Star or EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool).

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to update its Energy Star specification for computers in July. The new 5.0 rating toughens up energy-efficiency requirements, including increasing power supply efficiency requirements from 80 percent to 85 percent.

Dashboard: March 2009
Photo: Ron Nckel/photolibrary

Get a Do-Over

One of the latest inventions to emerge from Xerox is erasable paper. Scientists developed this technology using compounds that change color when they absorb a certain wavelength of light. As a result, the paper self-erases in about 16 to 24 hours and can be reused many times.

The paper can also be erased immediately if necessary, says Dr. Paul Smith, manager of Xerox Research Centre of Canada’s new materials design and synthesis lab. If you make a mistake, just feed the paper back through the printer, which erases the text and then prints the next version.

BizTech Movie Madness

March is finally here, and with it comes lions, lambs, leprechauns, ides and — most important — tournament brackets.

As a warm-up to frantically filling out those sheets, BizTech magazine asked its readers to vote on the most implausible IT support plot that Hollywood has ever offered up. Here’s how the BizTech Movie Madness tournament played out:

Dashboard: March 2009
Source: CDW poll of 578 BizTech readers

Solid Technology

Xerox Phaser MFP printers use solid ink instead of powdered toner. The printer creates color images by heating ink sticks and applying the colors to a drum inside the printer, which then transfers them onto the page. Safe, toxin-free and recyclable, solid-ink printing produces 90 percent less waste than laser printing because it uses only one consumable item compared with a laser printer’s multiple consumables, explains Donna Covannon, vice president of market development at Xerox. After 192,000 prints, a color laser produces about 450 pounds of waste; the solid-ink printer produces 23 pounds.

Turn to a Pro

Is your company focused on reducing its energy consumption overall or in the data center?

7% Yes, it’s a priority
56% Not currently
1% Don’t know
36% Yes, we’re looking into it

Source: CDW Poll of 299 BizTech readers

Last year, the U.S. Energy Department launched the Data Center Energy Profiler, an online tool to help data centers assess energy use. DC Pro does not measure energy use per se, but calculates efficiencies based on user input. Here’s how it works.

First, DC Pro asks data center operators for some information:

  • Do some areas of the data center have load densities more than four times the average?
  • Are you using virtualization to consolidate server workloads?
  • Can you provide the average quantity and cost of electricity, fuel, steam and chilled water purchased or generated on your site?
  • Based on supplied-energy information, can you break out the average energy consumed by the major energy-using systems?

Using the data provided, DC Pro produces an assessment with details about four areas:

  • Supplied energy information shows the average annual amount of energy that is purchased or generated onsite. Tables display the amount and cost of the energy.
  • Annual energy consumption shows average annual energy consumed. The graphs break down consumption by each major energy-using system.
  • Potential annual energy savings shows amount of energy that could be saved yearly and how energy use compares with that of other data centers.
  • Suggested next steps lists follow-up steps that could help save energy and money, breaking down the information by major energy-using systems.

To download DC Pro, go to