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Survey: Industry Standard Needed For Green Data Centers
A majority of data center operators have established green data center strategies, even though there is no clear industry standard for what makes for a green data center, according to a new survey.
The survey of senior decisionmakers at North America's leading corporations who are directly responsible for strategy, planning and technology evaluation for datacenter operations was conducted by Digital Realty Trust, Inc., an owner and manager of corporate datacenters and Internet gateways.
"Our goal for this survey was to determine whether the greening of the datacenter is a passing fad or represents the emergence of a deeper trend in technology that will permeate the industry for years to come," says Chris Crosby, Senior Vice President of Digital Realty Trust.
Key findings from the research study:
-- Despite the very recent emergence of green initiatives in the
datacenter industry, 55 percent of companies polled have already
established a detailed green datacenter strategy. This indicates that
green initiatives are viewed as a key long-term factor in datacenter
planning and operations.
-- More than 80 percent of companies polled confirmed that their green
datacenter strategies encompass not only computers and servers --
which have been the primary focus of most coverage of green IT trends
-- but also facility design and operations. This indicates that
companies are taking a comprehensive approach to green datacenter
initiatives that will maximize their energy efficiency gains.
-- More than 60 percent of companies polled project that having a green
datacenter strategy will become an important factor in their vendor
selections over the next 24 months. This indicates that IT vendors and
datacenter partners will need to adopt green strategies as rigorous as
the corporate customers they serve in order to remain competitive in
the marketplace. This is another indication that green datacenter
trends will broaden rather than diminish over time, Digital Realty Trust says.
-- Nearly three quarters of companies polled (73 percent) said that there
is no clear industry standard for what meets the criteria of being a
truly "green datacenter." In the absence of a universal standard for
green datacenters, the fact that the majority of companies have
created their own individual, corporate green datacenter plan
indicates that companies are filling the void themselves
with self-defined green initiatives rather than waiting for
industry-wide standards to be fully defined.
"These data points indicate that green, energy-efficient datacenter trends have been adopted more quickly and more deeply than previously believed. Even for people who have been tracking green IT trends closely, many of these metrics will be surprising," says Jim Smith, Vice President of Engineering for Digital Realty Trust. "Another key finding of the survey is the strong feedback from participants that the industry lacks codified operational standards for green datacenters. This is clearly an area where more work needs to be done, and will be a key factor in enabling companies to extend their green initiatives and establish green standards for their technology vendors and datacenter partners."
Though a single codified standard does not yet exist, best practices include participating in the The Green Grid and in earning LEED certification, says Smith.
About the Methodology
Metrics reported in this study are based on Web-based surveys of IT decisionmakers at large corporations in North America with revenues of at least $1 billion and/or a size of at least 5000+ employees. All survey participants are involved in the process of managing corporate datacenters, implementing new datacenters or expanding existing datacenters, and all participants are senior level management within their companies. More than 80 percent of survey participants are directly responsible for the final recommendations or the final decision regarding all datacenter initiatives, indicating that survey responses come from the most authoritative datacenter decisionmakers within many of North America's leading corporations. The survey was conducted in August 2007 and the sample size was more than 100 participants at companies that met the research criteria.