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State Street: Compression technology helped cut storage use by 50%

The IT department at State Street has spent the past decade making its operations more energy efficient as part of an overall commitment to environmental stewardship at the financial services firm. But Madge Meyer, executive vice president, chief innovation officer and technology fellow, says the task is never truly finished. "We have a very mature program, so a part of our mission is to continue to drive down energy use," she says.

All employees are aware of the company's sustainability goals and are expected to do their parts, Meyer says, adding that she can count on her colleagues and the entire IT staff to get the job done.

"It's so much in people's minds," she says. "It's not even one person or one group. It's every person in IT, starting with our CIO, all my colleagues -- everybody. It's in our IT team's DNA."

Meyer says that in the past year, IT has focused on several areas to cut down on the energy used by technology.

For instance, IT deployed compression and deduplication technologies to reduce storage use by 40% to 50%. It also pushed ahead with a multiyear virtualization program, moving beyond server and network virtualization into virtualizing desktops to further drive energy savings, Meyer says.

In addition, IT implemented processing on demand, an infrastructure as a service that provides capacity only when needed, thereby saving energy when capacity isn't required. "We can pack a lot more workload on fewer machines," she notes.

Green Tomorrow

"We have got to be even more aggressive in getting to the next level because the world isn't getting more of these natural resources," says Madge Meyer, a State Street executive vice president. She says the firm will continue to benchmark against evolving industry standards to ensure that it's at the leading edge of sustainability efforts.

Meanwhile, IT's use of a private cloud is similarly advancing the firm's green objectives; it has resulted in a 5-to-1 reduction in hardware, Meyer says.

Pratt is a Computerworld contributing writer in Waltham, Mass. Contact her at [email protected]

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