MSPAlliance, an international association for managed service providers, is now offering Green IT Certification as part of its Managed Services Accreditation Program. This certification program is designed to help managed service providers and their clients reduce their carbon footprint by following green IT practices, such as remotely managing IT services to reduce carbon emissions and using energy-efficient hardware, power-management software, and virtualization technologies to reduce power consumption.

"There was a lack of standards for green IT," said MSPAlliance president Charles Weaver, "so we created the Green IT Certification program."

To achieve Green IT Certification, managed service providers need to meet certain requirements. Besides being an accredited MSPAlliance member in good standing, a managed service provider needs to

  • Remotely manage 50 percent of its clients.
  • Remotely handle 50 percent of its trouble tickets.
  • Implement virtualization technologies for servers and/or desktops.
  • Follow data center power-saving best practices, such as using alternative energy sources, using server virtualization, and adopting alternative data-center cooling practices.
  • Have its clients adopt energy-saving practices.
  • Not have onsite remediation services exceed 10 percent of its total services revenue.

After a managed service provider achieves the Green IT Certification, it can then nominate its clients to receive the designation of being a "Green IT Approved Company." To receive this designation, a client must:

  • Engage in a managed services agreement with a Green IT Certified managed service provider.
  • Have 75 percent of its hardware resources be ENERGY STAR rated or have power-saving management capabilities.
  • Virtualize multiple servers when applicable.
  • Encourage working remotely by implementing secure remote access to network resources.

"Following these green IT standards will help managed service providers and their clients reduce their operational costs," said Weaver. MSPAlliance estimates that managed service providers that abide by these green IT standards could reduce their energy consumption by 35 percent to 75 percent.

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