For those of you who consider the green data center movement a fad, there is a new report out from Pike Research that suggests investment in greener facilities will grow rapidly over the next five years. In fact, Pike predicts that so-called green data centers -- with a focus on energy efficiency and environmental design sensitivities -- will generate $41.4 billion in revenue by 2015, representing close to 30 percent of the total data center market.
Three hallmarks of these facilities will be energy efficiency, virtual technology infrastructure and adaptability, meaning that these data centers can respond dynamically to new business needs, new processes and services, and technology innovation. (What's green in 2015 might necessarily be green in 2016, after all.) Cooling and power infrastructure will represent about 46 of the revenue associated with green data centers over the next five years, followed by investments in more efficient IT equipment, with about 41 percent of the revenue.
In a press release about the report, Pike analyst Eric Woods writes: "Cost of energy has seldom been a concern for IT departments in the past, and there was little incentive to invest in energy efficiency improvements. But as data center energy costs become more visible, the financial benefits of moving to a greener mode of operation are being recognized by CEOs, CFOs and CIOs."
For me, the Pike research is validated by the fact that I'm receiving a growing number of pitches from data center operators, such as Stream Data Center (which I wrote about yesterday) that are investing substantially behind the idea that their data center site or co-location facility is greener than the alternative. And that customers will be interested in that.
While for a brief period of time you might see some of these data center operators charging a premium for those services, I think you are more likely to see them use the "green" messaging as deal closers and strategic differentiators with companies that use corporate sustainability issues as a divining rod when making procurement decisions.