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Government Computer Rentals a Component to "Green IT" Solutions For Federal, State and Local Government

Jul 12, 2008
Government computer rentals, together with short- and long-term leasing arrangements, are key components in governmental strategies that will lead to more efficient and greener delivery of government services. As both government and private industry increasingly focus their attention on the impact their operations have on the environment, federal, state and local governments are all focusing more attention on how they can deliver services in a manner that is equally or more efficient, while reducing energy consumption. Renting or leasing computer hardware to increase flexibility in delivering programs where demands for computer and technology resources fluctuate is an environmentally and fiscally responsible 'green IT' solution for governments at all levels.

There is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution for greening government, however, due to the size and multiplicity of government agencies and departments, each using separate applications and IT systems. "Federal agencies are rife with non-standardized and manually intensive processes supported by a patchwork of legacy IT applications performed in multiple geographies and remote locations," according to consultants from Booz Allen, in McLean, Virginia. However, the size of the challenge in making government greener and more efficient only increases the scale of the energy and fiscal savings available. "The size of the cost savings opportunity available to the U.S. government is orders of magnitude larger than that available to even the largest corporation," notes Booz Allen's consultancy in their paper on How the U.S. Government Can Cut Overhead.

In a recent piece on greening government IT systems, Citrix Systems' area vice-president of federal systems, Tom Simmons, discussed how governments can reduce power requirements and green their operations through 'virtualization' - moving government operating systems and software applications from desktops to more energy efficient data centers where arrays of data servers more efficiently store and process information. He cites estimates that calculate the federal government "can reduce power consumption by the equivalent of 1.3 million barrels of oil a year," solely through the virtualization of its IT systems and more efficient use of its existing data centers. He notes that, "with the price of oil [north of] $125 barrel that's a not-insignificant cost savings."

Moreover, through virtualization governments can move away from using numerous redundant PCs each solely dedicated to one employee and hosting his or her operating systems, applications and data files. Having numerous dedicated desktop PCs, many of which are idled at any given time, is not only fiscally inefficient but leads to an environmentally precarious waste disposal problem when computer hardware becomes obsolete. "For a long time," Simmons notes, "the federal government was on a three- or four-year life cycle for desktop PCs and a three-year life cycle for servers. Green IT extends those life cycles in a lot of cases and reduces the waste." He estimates that turning to computing virtualization through the use of optimized servers at more efficient data centers will extend the life of the typical government desktop to the five- to seven-year range. Of course this means less surplus equipment in landfills across the country.

Virtualization, where operating systems, applications and data are stored offsite at more energy-efficient data centers also means that the desktops and laptops that access and run the stored systems and applications do so on an as-needed basis. Government departments and agencies can then acquire PCs and laptops on an as-required basis during peak seasons and for special programs.

With increasing virtualization, a process that is already a functioning business reality in the private sector, government computer rentals and short- and long-term leasing arrangements help streamline operations, reducing the need for permanent, dedicated computer resources. The cost-savings and reduced environmental impact achieved by extending the life cycle of existing computer hardware by filling peak periods of demand through rental or leasing arrangements can then make government computer rentals a key component in finding a 'green IT' solution for all levels of local, state and federal government.
About the Author
For more information on government computer rentals visit http://www.VernonComputerSource.com or call 1-800-827-0352 to let us help you determine your computer rental needs and to provide you with a quick and accurate quote.
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