The Promise of Utility Grade Computing

Gregg Ferrie

The use of diskless or slim computing can dramatically improve an organization’s ability to provide their users with a secure, stable, cost effective, sustainable and highly energy efficient computer-based information system. This is a greater concern as software continues to drive hardware replacement, and becomes more support intensive. Information technology managers struggle to maintain and support systems which constantly require maintenance on users networked personal computers. Such computers, often running Microsoft Windows and Windows applications, require substantial resources including virus updates, software upgrades, security patches, regular maintenance, and support. Of greatest consequence, is the significance of climate change where organizations and energy managers are seeking ways to reduce energy consumption, GHG, and other pollutants. The essential goal of diskless client technology is to decrease technology limitations to actual business processes, and enable users to perform their required tasks while not having anxiety about viruses, crashing, access, and support. Valuable resources can then be better utilized in administration, system development, support, and user training. Well implemented and managed diskless client technology can reduce client energy consumption by as much as 75% over traditional desktop computing models. The example from School District No. 63 (Saanich) will show how using diskless clients has significantly reduced ICT costs and reduced overall district electricity consumption by approximately 10% (1GWh) per year. This is transformational technology which provides additional benefits including: changing organizational culture, reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO), while streamlining and improving user access to the information and data they require.

About Gregg Ferrie:

Gregg Ferrie is the Director of Information Technology at the Saanich School District.

He has a Master of Science degree in Information Systems. As well Gregg holds the Information Systems Professional (I.S.P.) designation through the Canadian Information Processing Society and the Information Technology Certified Professional designation. Gregg is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery. He is passionate about his family, technology, open source software, education and energy conservation. Interests include sailing, history and the outdoors.

2012 IdeaWave