Server virtualization and consolidation can help IT pros reduce power consumption in the data center, but VMware took the power-reduction principle a step further when building its new campus in Palo Alto, California. “From the get-go we wanted to make it a sustainable campus, so we went out and found a green architect, Bull McDonough Partners,” says VMware President and CEO Diane Greene. “We focused on using recyclable materials, having lots of natural light, and using good landscaping and drainage…you basically don’t need to turn lights on in the building because we have so much natural light.”

VMware’s new campus might be one way to cut energy costs, but what’s an IT pro do when asked by management to cut data-center energy costs while maintaining service levels? Server virtualization and consolidation are a big part of the solution, and an approach that saved Mike Carvalho, chief technology officer at 1-800-Radiator, a bundle on his data center costs.

“Our data center was full, our racks were full, the AC was maxed, and we were maxed out on UPS units,” says Carvalho. “After an old friend suggested we consolidate and virtualize, I gave it a shot. I did it all myself in three weeks, and we saved about 30 percent on our power costs right off the top.” Carvalho said 1-800-Radiator was the first company to take advantage of a program developed by VMware and California’s Pacific Gas and Electric that gives business customers rebates for using server virtualization to reduce power consumption. Carvalho finds it ironic that his company was the first to receive the rebate. “Global warming would actually be good for us,” he jokes. “The hotter it gets, the more radiators we would sell!”