IT Departments Getting More Involved in Efficiency

By Edward Sullivan, Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Facility Managers Say Companies Are Taking Action to Increase Data Center EfficiencyPt. 2: This Page

Our survey offers good news on another front: IT departments — which own the equipment that accounts for the lion's share of data center energy consumption — are also getting on the efficiency bandwagon. The survey indicates that energy efficient servers and other IT equipment, as well as server virtualization, are more prevalent in data centers now being designed, built or renovated than in ones completed in the past three years. And those recently built or renovated data centers are more likely to have efficient IT equipment and server virtualization than existing data centers.

"If you get IT engaged at the beginning of the project, and get their input in the decision making process, then they feel they're engaged, and they're going to buy into it," says Spinazzola.

Maintaining the Momentum

Will the momentum for more energy efficiency continue into the data centers that will be started in the next few years? The survey doesn't provide a clear answer. We asked respondents if a range of energy efficiency measures were definitely in the plans for data center projects expected to begin in the next three years. That number was smaller, for each measure on the list, than the number who indicated the measure was used in recently built or renovated data centers or would be used in projects now underway.

But that's not the whole story. If we add the number of respondents who said a measure would be seriously considered to those who said it would definitely be used, the total is higher than the results for data center projects recently completed or now underway.

How many of those "seriously consider" responses will lead to actual use of an energy efficiency measure? There's no way to tell. But signs point to energy efficiency becoming an even higher priority in the future. One example: energy efficiency is even becoming a factor in the location of data centers. "Discussions are taking place among site selection professionals to identify areas where free cooling is plentiful, along with reasonable utility prices," writes Paul Schlattman, vice president, mission-critical facilities for Environmental Systems Design, in the firm's 2011 Data Center Technical Market Report. "We are also noticing areas of Canada are being considered among the larger users."

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  posted on 5/24/2011   Article Use Policy

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