“Data centers are attracting the attention of more CEOs and CFOs, not just for their energy use, but also because of the cost of facilities and the digital infrastructure – the entire system by which companies satisfy their computing needs,” said Martin McCarthy, Executive Chairman of Uptime Institute and CEO of The 451 Group at the Uptime Institute Symposium 2011.
Although IT infrastructure delivers no direct business value, much of the business value is created in business processes that depend upon a solid and stable IT infrastructure. With an IT infrastructure in place, you can run applications, but they can’t deliver any value without the physical IT infrastructure of server, storage, network components and data center facilities. So it is good news that the men in the basement get noticed by senior management.
At the symposium some interesting figures of the Uptime data center industry survey were presented:
- 36% of data center facilities would run out of space, power or cooling in 2011-2012.
- Less than 20% of respondents’ IT departments pay the data center power bill.
- 73% of respondents said their facilities or real estate department pays the data-center power bill.
- 8% didn’t know who pays the data-center power bill.
- The most widely used energy efficiency improvement techniques, according to the Uptime survey, are server virtualization, used by 82% of respondents; hot aisle/cold aisle containment, used by 77% ; and power monitoring and measurement, used by 67% .
- 57% of the respondents have raised the inlet temperatures on chillers, basically running their data centers at higher temperature
- 46% of the respondents are using variable speed drives, which allow cooling fans to adjust their speed depending on the temperature.
For energy usage the question “Who is responsible, who feels the pain and take action ?” is still waiting for a definite answer. The current general financial structure makes it far more difficult to drive data center energy efficiency to the right directions. It is better that the IT department should pay the energy bill that would give a real incentive to get more effective and efficient.
See also the blog entry “IT energy efficiency spark accounting debate …”.