Duratherm ‘s Green IT Efforts

Duratherm Window Corporation, which is located in Vassalboro, Maine, produces cutting edge energy efficient windows and spiral staircases. As a company, they have been focusing on their goal to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

To improve the energy efficiency of the IT side of their operation, we worked with Duratherm to specify and replace three aging servers with one Energy Star qualified server. To do this, we designed a virtualized environment, which allowed us to configure the contents of their three older servers into the one new server. This will produce savings in a couple of ways. First, three servers have been replaced with one server (which includes savings in both labor and hardware). Second, the new server is far more energy efficient than the three aging servers were.

There are other benefits as well. Prior to the updates, Duratherm’s server room was loud, and the air conditioning had difficulty keeping up with the cooling load needed to maintain an appropriate temperature for the old servers. With the new server, the cooling load has been reduced so much that Duratherm has not had to use any air conditioning in their server room. Thus, Duratherm will see a savings in cooling costs. In addition, the new server is quieter so the noise in the server room has been reduced.

By reducing the need for air conditioning, Duratherm has gained another benefit – a reduction in the amount of dust in the server room. Duratherm’s production environment is such that there is wood dust in the area. When the three old servers were running, the air conditioner drew dust into the server room in the process of drawing in air for the air conditioner. The multiple case fans in the old servers also drew dust into the room. Now that the old servers are gone and the air conditioner does not need to run, the dust problem has been reduced.

Senior engineer and account manager Jeremy Wallace says of the effort, “It was time for the equipment to be updated, and it was great to help them make the best choices for efficient solutions. I admire how proactive Duratherm has been in reducing their energy use.”

Other benefits of the server replacement project include:

  • Ongoing energy cost savings
  • Better data protection (as the old servers were aging)
  • By virtualizing the environment, the current server configurations remained the same. Thus, a migration process was not necessary. This eliminated the need to make additional changes in settings, etc. to other IT equipment that communicates with the server.
  • The replacement project was completed with lower labor costs than would have been required to replace the 3 servers as is.
  • By virtualizing the environment, hardware costs were lower as 1 energy efficient server replaced 3 other servers.

In addition to purchasing Energy Star qualified servers, Duratherm has been buying Energy Star qualified PC’s to further reduce energy requirements. We were excited to work on this project with Duratherm and applaud their efforts in this area.

Mike Dorr, President

Mike began as a Burgess network engineer in 1998. He later spent 3 years as Five County Credit Union’s Director of IT before returning as an owner in 2006. He lives in Bath with his wife and children and is an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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