Energy efficiency higher priority for data center managers

Interest in cutting power consumption and expenses is now driving more than 40 percent of consolidation projects.

New research from CDW Government (CDW-G) suggests that a growing number of data center consolidation, virtualization and cloud computing initiatives are linked to concerns over electricity consumption.

The survey, part of the IT services company's fourth annual Energy Efficient IT Report, found that 43 percent of IT professionals consider green IT initiatives to be a major motivator for consolidation projects. That was up from 34 percent in 2010.

More than half of the respondents (54 percent) have developed an explicit program for managing data center power consumption, according to the CDW-G report. More than 75 percent of those organizations that have developed a formal power-reduction program have managed to cut energy costs as a result, the data show.

The analysis is based on a survey of 760 IT professionals from both the private sector and the public sector in the United States.

"Like any other aspect of IT, energy efficiency in the data center is a multi-layer stack of solutions working together, and all available solutions deserve consideration," said Norm Lillis, vice president of systems solutions at CDW, in a statement about the research. "The combination that makes the most sense will vary with the unique environment in a data center."

Picking through the report, here are some other key findings:

  • Virtualizing servers and storage is the top way that 65 percent of the respondents are using to reduce energy consumption in their data center. Generally speaking, those that have virtualized portions of their IT infrastructure have seen a 28 percent reduction in energy consumption.
  • New cooling approaches and energy efficient UPS systems both help achieve consumption reductions of more than 20 percent.
  • The top barrier to energy efficiency initiatives is budget, followed by the failure of senior executives to give these efforts priority.
  • More respondents believe that cloud computing is a means of improving energy efficiency: 62 percent agreed, versus 47 percent in 2010.