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The notion of virtualization in the computing industry — using software to better utilize computers and thus require less of them — has been around for over a decade, and VMware was one of the pioneers of adding virtualization to data centers. But in the face […]

The notion of virtualization in the computing industry — using software to better utilize computers and thus require less of them — has been around for over a decade, and VMware was one of the pioneers of adding virtualization to data centers. But in the face of competition, product commoditization, and projections for flat or lowered sales in the upcoming quarter, VMware has suddenly decided to point out how energy efficient and carbon-reductive its software is. Everyone needs an extra push in this economy.

Funny thing is, VMware has actually been helping computing companies save some serious energy and reduce carbon emissions since its founding in 1998 — they’re just fully marketing it now. Servers alone suck up about 1 percent of the world’s electricity use, and software and hardware design will be crucial to keeping that percentage low as more and more devices go online. Already 55 percent of IT firms budget for virtualization of servers. And the trend of marketing virtualization as a green tool — not just a way to save money by reducing the amount of servers purchased — will keep growing this year.

So how effective are VMware’s tools at saving energy and cutting carbon emissions? VMware says that since its inception, its virtualization software has helped companies save 105 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, or about $11.6 billion. For individual companies, the tools can help cut energy consumption by 80 percent, and each server taken out of a datacenter cuts out four tons of carbon emissions.

  1. A really interesting green computer technology I found is desktop virtualization. It’s where multiple people can use the same computer at the same time each with their own monitor, mouse and keyboard. This saves a lot of electricity and e-waste. A company called Userful recently set a virtualization world record by delivering over 350,000 virtual desktops to schools in Brazil. They have a free 2-user version for home use too. Check it out: userful.com

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