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Thin Clients for Green Computing Funding Agreement

Posted by Sarthak Prasad on June 30, 2010

This proposal looks to improve the energy efficiency of campus computing by expanding the use of thin client hardware and infrastructure. The effort will build on previous successful thin computing studies, scaling up the initiative to make thin clients available to a wider campus audience. Thin clients use 95% less energy than traditional desktop computers, which can significantly reduce campus energy expense and carbon emissions. Further, thin clients have a 10 year life-span, compared to the 3-4 year useful life of a traditional desktop computer, resulting in better utilization and ultimately less e-waste. To encourage the expansion of this more sustainable model of computing, this project seeks to make thin clients available at reduced costs for campus units. $40,000 of the grant would fund thin client devices, licenses, and associated Terminal Server client access licenses (CALs) at a rate up of to $200 or 50% of costs, whichever is lower. At least 200 thin clients will be made available at discounted rates for campus units; additional funding will come directly from units’ allocated budgets for replacement computer hardware. Purchase commitments for atleast 100 devices have made made by the College of FAA, and additional commitments have been made by Swanlund System Services and Campus Recreation. The remaining $5,000 of the grant would compensate Webstore/CITES for server/virtual machine investments. As more and more locations will have thin clients visible, students, faculty, and visitors will realize the benefits of this sustainable computing solution. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the fully requested amount of $45,000.