9 Days until Earth Day.
Driven by the County Commission's Guiding Vision, everyday is Earth Day in Alachua County. In April, each day leading up to Earth Day (April 22), the County will be highlighting programs, services, and strategies designed to lead Alachua County into a more sustainable future.
To view all "Earth Day Countdown" press releases on the County's Facebook page, click here and click on the Earth Day tab at the top of the page.
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County invests in information technology to provide the data infrastructure necessary to support the multiple services County government's departments and agencies provide to citizens. As local government and the community it serves becomes more reliant on technology, the demand for energy efficiency becomes even more important as we strive to design a sustainable information network. Energy costs will increase unless new technology is implemented with a resource saving strategy.
The solution that is being deployed by Alachua County Information and Telecom Services (ITS) is Virtualization. Virtualization is a process that allows the consolidation of computer resources in order to maximize the investment in computer hardware and minimize the computer power costs. Up to ten standard computer servers can be replaced by one virtualized server. Virtualized Servers are providing that opportunity for the County with improved performance at reduced energy costs through the VMWARE Server virtualization program. By utilizing less hardware, the need for electricity is reduced.
To date, approximately 40 servers have been consolidated under this program, saving an average 3,600 watts of energy per year. Reducing the number of active computer servers also reduces air-conditioning needs by over half a ton. These energy reduction measures are estimated to save over $5,000 annually in electricity costs.
The Virtualized Servers also allow for more cost efficient programs to be implemented throughout the county departments. A new Electronic Time Reporting system is currently being piloted in four County Departments. Graham Peel, ITS Project Manager says that, "Once this is in place, it eliminates paper documents for timekeeping including timesheets and leave requests." These documents are currently printed and stored in various office locations on the network. A fully implemented paperless system will cut printing by 40,000+ documents per year. Highlighting added benefits, "Eliminating paper storage, frees expensive office space and makes for faster government processes which will free up time for more citizen response tasks." added Graham.
Citizens are urged to save energy and utility bills with their own computer equipment. Energy Star, the federal appliance efficiency programs reports that computers set to standby or hibernate may save $75 or more per computer. Find out how much you can save by visiting the Energy Star Computer Power Management calculator here (Microsoft Excel needed).
For more information about Alachua County's Sustainability Programs, contact Alachua County Sustainability Program Manager, Sean McLendon at 352-548-3765.
40 Days of Change - For more information concerning events on and leading up to Earth Day, go to the University of Florida, Office of Sustainability's "40 Days of Change" website by clicking here.