IT, Langara College's Information Technology Department, has several sustainability initiatives completed or underway including significant upgrades to the Data Centre and computer servers, and energy conservation programs.
Green IT "Thin Client" Initiative
The new Citrix virtual desktop delivery system provides a better, all around experience for users, from their operating systems to faster login times. Here are some of the ways Citrix lightens Langara's environmental impact:
- Small desktop units that host Citrix consume less power, produce less heat, and result in less waste during manufacturing and disposal.
- The new equipment is more energy efficient, producing substantially less toxic waste, generating less noise, and reducing heat-load on our HVAC system.
IT has already seen success with its campus-wide initiative to move toward a "thin clients" model. As work continues on this initiative, the energy savings on thin clients versus regular desktops is already proving to be significant, going from 300W to less than 50W per device.
The Data Centre, which houses critical computer systems and hardware, has been recently upgraded with:
- New power distribution system with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that uses magnetic vacuum flywheel augmented with a redundant string of 40 lead acid batteries to maintain even power. It replaced an 80-lead acid battery system. The new system is more energy efficient, requires half the number of batteries, and extends the life of batteries used by two to three years.
- New energy and water efficient 20-ton air conditioning system. It has an eight-stage cooling system for maximum energy efficiency.The system is a closed and recycles all water used minimizing water consumption.
Computer Server Upgrades
For the past three to four years, the College has been upgrading and consolidating existing hardware with higher capacity servers. Through virtualization, each new server can minimize energy consumption by replacing multiple machines. The upgrading of servers is ongoing.
Energy Conservation Programs
With over 1,600 computers (desktops and laptops) on campus, every little bit counts when it comes to energy savings. The campus has instituted the following protocols to conserve energy:
- Machines in all computer labs are automatically turned off at 11 pm.
- Computers in faculty and administrative offices are also turned off at 11 pm unless there is reported activity (i.e. open documents).
- All monitors have an automatic power save mode. All computers are set to have blank monitors after 30-60 minutes of inactivity.
- All new computer purchases must be Energy Star and 80+ compliant.
Did you know?
Langara College is one of the top 10 donors of 2011/2012, donating hundreds of used computers for Computers for Schools BC.