Monday, September 24, 2007

Obstacles to Greener Computing

In a post on, Emerson Network Power, the Data Center Users Group (a Emerson-sponsored organization), the EPA and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs conducted a survey showing that at least 65 percent of IT managers are using at least some form of energy efficiency practices to reduce costs and lower their environmental impact.

The obstacles they found to achieving such efficiencies include:
  • 40% - lack of encouragement from top management
  • 36% - widespread unawareness of the cost/benefit relationship of energy efficiency
  • 35% - enterprises not wanting to risk reliability
  • 33% - lack of communication between IT and facilities departments

There were some other interesting statistics on energy consumption in the data center:

  • 60% of the data center electrical load is used to power IT equipment:
    - 56% of that being used to power servers,
    - 27% for storage
    - 19% for network equipment

Some other interesting random data points:
  • 41 % of survey respondents said their data center electrical usage is not metered separately from the rest of their facilities.
  • 81% of operators believe that by 2012 they will need additional data center capacity, despite the fact that 64 percent have built or upgraded their data center in the last five years.
  • 27% of respondents believe that despite consolidation and the use of virtualization, their server inventory will increase throughout the next five years.
My big takeaways from this: (1) There's still a big awareness & organizational rift between Facilities & IT Operations, and (2) that efficiencies still stink, and (3) data centers will still grow, as will the energy problem.

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