Go ‘Green’ By Changing Your OS

July 14, 2008 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Over the past few years advancements in computing technology have allowed computer manufacturers to design faster PCs and servers while reducing the amount of power required to operate them. Manufacturers are now leveraging technologies, such as solid state hard drives to squeeze the most computing power out of existing hardware platforms without increasing the amount of energy consumed. Yet, in order to best leverage the new technologies, the operating system which will ultimately control how the computer system utilizes the power needs to be capable of managing the technology effectively.

In a recent test performed by Network World, three enterprise class operating systems – Windows, Red Hat, and SUSE – were pitted against each other to contend for the title of “Most Energy Efficient Operating System”. The operating systems were installed on identically spec’d IBM, Dell, and HP 1U rack mount servers and run through a battery of 16 tests using both default and optimized power settings.

“We ran multiple power consumption tests using Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.1 and SUSE Enterprise Linux 10 SP1 on four, popular 1U server machines, one each from Dell and IBM and two from HP. The results showed that while Windows Server 2008 drew slightly less power in a few test cases when it had its maximum power saving settings turned on, it was RHEL that did the best job of keeping the power draw in check across the board.”

Network World went further to add that the efficiency of the operating systems could be even further enhanced by fine tuning system power settings or kernel parameters, but not without drawbacks.

“Tuning servers for optimized power savings could yield better results, but would create a new painstakingly tedious server management discipline required to constantly control the deep complexities of the configuration variables involved.”

Depending on the applications required to run your business effectively (e.g., point-of-sale software), migrating to another operating system may not always be an option. However, it may be in your best interest to consult with an IT professional to investigate tuning your existing OS or possibly upgrading to a newer version in order to take advantage of power efficiency enhancements.

By briansrapier

[Via: Network World]

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Entry filed under: Emerging Technologies, Energy, Information Technology, Tests. Tags: , , , , , .

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