What is IT’s role in ensuring energy efficiency in the data center?

What has IT got to do with making sure that the data center power, energy usage, and utilities are managed cost-effectively? This question was posed on the Data Center Pulse group on LinkedIn. A wonderful discussion developed about why Facilities and IT should working closely together. With quotes like “As an IT guy, I aways assumed that if there was physical space in the room, then there was enough power and cooling.” Or “My CIO doesn’t see an electric bill because the facility folks can’t break it down to the room level (yet) so IS isn’t incentified to reduce cooling or electric costs.” Discussion about treating the data center as a systemgetting the right information, monitoring IT equipment and how to translate that to communicate with building control systems (e.g. BACNET). The discussion shows there is still a big gap between the different folks that are working in a data center: facilities, the server, storage and network people who make their one choices and hardly aware of the impact of this choices for the other groups. Awareness of energy usage is just starting but ideas about what to do and who should do what is still hazy. This technical, process oriented, organizational, commercial interdependency is described in the chapter “Why Green IT is Hard  – an Economic Perspective” in the coming book of the Greening IT Initiative. Energy efficiency in IT is a very interesting topic but there is still a lot of work to do to get things done.

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