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There’s green and then there’s not so green

With our recent look at the greening of the hosting industry and the growing concerns involving ethics among everyone from hardware manufacturers to data center designers, two news stories emerged this week that deserve a bit of attention under the same light. There is a huge effort taking place where these trends are concerned but, unfortunately, not every company is being so quick to jump on the Earth-friendly bandwagon.

The first story accentuates the focus on smaller ecological footprints where data centers are concerned as IBM and the Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska announced a joint effort in their development of a green data center management degree with enrollment available as early as this coming December. The program, a two-year associates degree requiring 36 credit hours of courses, will teach students both the construction fundamentals and management skills required to design, build and maintain a so-called “green data center” using IBM hardware. The curriculum for the course was developed by MCC through their access to IBM’s Academic Initiative, a program that offers free access to online resources and software to over 4,000 institutions of higher learning around the world.

We’re seeing a dramatic increase in demand here in Nebraska for specialists who understand how to help companies reduce the costs associated with running an energy-intensive data center. Now, our students are getting exposure to leading edge IBM technologies, increasing their chances of being hired for jobs in this growing area. – Tom Pensabene, MCC dean of IT

With MCC’s long-standing as a top 20 community college where IT graduates are concerned and the current drive towards new sustainable technologies in the United States, students of this new course will learn about virtualization, business ethics, security and energy efficiency in the college’s own data center, a $1.8 million facility sponsored by the United States Department of Labor as that country works towards providing more educated bodies to fill jobs in the growing IT sector.

The second story in this vein from the past week involves hosting and domain giant GoDaddy’s announcement that they will be sponsoring upcoming bull riding events via a deal with the Professional Bull Riders Association in the United States. While not exactly a center of controversy where animal rights are concerned, groups such as PETA have often publicly denounced bull riding in consideration of the inhumane treatment the animals receive before, during and following these events in order to deliver a public “sporting” spectacle. Whether or not the deal turns out to be a negative one for GoDaddy remains to be seen but, given the company’s history of edgy advertising, this may be one instance where less-than ethical practices are forgotten quickly, if noticed at all.

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