Server Virtualization and Energy Efficient Computers

A university houses a number of technologies that can draw an immense amount of electricity.  It is important to evaluate how energy intensive these technologies can be over the course of their operational lifetime.  The Technology and Learning Services (TLS) department at Augustana are leading the way with their energy reduction efforts and has undertaken a significant technology refresh and consequently has made upgrades in a number of areas, including: printing, desktop computers, servers and server cooling.  Making such changes not only reduces the ecological footprint of the campus, it is economically viable as well. 

How have they done it?


By migrating our physical servers into a virtual infrastructure, we have:

  • Substantially decreased our power usage (157 000 kWh per year – the average Alberta home used 600kWh/month);
  • Consolidated the amount of hardware required.  As a result, have:
    • optimized our server usage and space
    • saved money, as there is less hardware to purchase;
    • reduced the amount of annual eWaste, as there is less hardware to dispose of when the technology needs to be refreshed;
    • decreased our space usage from 3 server rooms to 1;
  • Decreased our air cooling demands from 21 to 17 degrees Celsius;
  • Dropped server power consumption from over 10,000W to under 5,000W
  • Continue updates 

More efficient Desktop Computers

As an Academic Institution we have a lot of desktop computers for our faculty, staff and students. In an effort to ensure efficiency, computers are replaced on a 4-year cycle with some of the most energy efficient computers on the market. Old computers have their data wiped and are then removed for resale or recycling. 

Xerox Machines

5-10 years ago every office had is own printer.  Over the past 5 years TLS has worked to replace individual printers with communal xerox printers. Now there are only 15 personal printers on campus. These communal printers are more efficient in toner and paper use which has lead to a increased saving on printing. 

Remember: Save more than you print.  When you do print, use recycled paper, FSC certified paper and/or chose to print double-sided.

Sound Technology in Chapel

In 2017, TLS updated the microphones and sound board technology in the Augustana Chapel. This updated technology allowed for more technical capabilities while drawing less power. 

Memory Sticks

In an effort to reduce printing all MUSIC students receive a memory stick upon orientation.