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Study: Green Data Center Strategies Decline
A recent study of green data center trends indicates that a lack of industry standards is slowing green data center initiatives.
The findings of the second annual study, conducted by Digital Realty Trust, are based on a survey of senior decision makers at leading North American corporations who are directly responsible for data center strategy, planning and technology.
In last year’s survey, respondents expressed concern about the lack of industry standards for green data centers, according to Digital Realty Trust. The impact of that concern may be reflected in the drop of data centers with green strategies from 55 percent last year to 51 percent this year.
Other key findings of the study include:
- Eighty-two percent of companies say there is no clear industry standard for green data centers. This figure is up from 75 percent in 2007, indicating that there is more ambiguity than clarity in the industry. One area where there was broad agreement was in what elements an industry standard should comprise. The top two responses were: 94 percent agreed that a standard should outline how to achieve efficient power usage (i.e. maximizing energy delivered to IT equipment by the facility), and 83 percent agreed that a standard should also outline how to enhance HVAC systems to use energy more efficiently.
- In the absence of green data center standards, companies site LEED certification as the best alternative. More than 60 percent of companies look to LEED general building standards as a model for their green data center initiatives. The Green Grid was also cited as a resource for green data center initiatives, indicating that the consortium is gaining visibility and momentum in the industry.
- Of the companies that do have a green data center strategy, 82 percent are taking a holistic approach that encompasses not only servers and other data center hardware, but also facility design and data center operations. This is nearly identical to the 2007 metric (81 percent), indicating that companies understand the value of taking a comprehensive approach that maximizes energy efficiency by addressing not just the equipment in the data center, but the facility itself.
- Only 18 percent of companies are planning to include carbon credits in their green data center plans, down from a figure of 25 percent in 2007. This indicates that companies are focusing on directly reducing their data center energy consumption rather than displacing it through carbon credits solutions.