Matthew Graven


The idea of being "green," or environmentally sustainable, can seem like an enigma. Sure, we all know that it's about being more aware of resource use, reducing energy consumption, and limiting waste. But there are countless strategies, approaches, and conflicting philosophies about what you should do, what you should measure, and how you should get started.

The truth, though, is that there is no single right approach. The most important thing you can do is take steps—any steps—to get started. Constant debate is healthy, but only action will bring results.

Getting started is easier than you might think. There are some general best practices you can immediately employ using tools you may already have. You can use Group Policy, for instance, and configure built-in Power Management features in Windows. You can consolidate underutilized servers using new virtualization technology. You can use powerful capacity planning utilities to analyze your infrastructure to ensure efficiency. And you can take these steps without having to get funding from the executive management. Much of the coverage you'll find in this special online-only issue of TechNet Magazine explores these tools and techniques you can start using immediately.

It's been exciting to watch the shift in dialog over the past few years, as organizations around the globe have shown not just a passing interest in but also a commitment to environmental sustainability. Even as the economy has declined and businesses have been forced to cut back on spending, many organizations have indicated that Green IT is one area where they are still willing to invest.

Of course, the interest in Green IT isn't entirely altruistic—what's good for the environment is often also good for the bottom line. It makes sense to invest in strategies that will allow you to do more with less, making sure the company gets the most out of what it has already invested in. And this potential for financial savings is critical; it provides a great message for you to take to the executives when you're trying to gain support for your Green IT initiatives.

We see the opportunities offered by environmental initiatives and know it's important to have a Green IT strategy. However, we also know how difficult it can be to plan and initiate these strategies. This is why TechNet Magazine launched the Sustainable Computing column one year ago, on Earth Day 2008. We wanted to give some guidance that could help you get your green initiatives rolling.

Here we are one year later and a lot has changed. New technologies (such as Hyper-V) have come to market, the political landscape is different (with an increased interest in promoting green initiatives), and businesses and consumers alike continue to demonstrate a growing interest in being environmentally responsible (and saving some money). Yet many of the same questions remain.

This just confirms the importance of our exploring the area of Green IT and providing guidance you can put into action. So for this Earth Day, we've put together a special online-only issue of TechNet Magazine that focuses on Green IT. We bring you some new articles and have compiled some of the best sustainable computing coverage we published in the past year. We hope this helps you and your organization to implement some energy-saving strategies.

We'd like to hear about your thoughts and experiences regarding Green IT and environmental sustainability. So feel free to send questions, comments, and other feedback to us at

—Matthew Graven