Formal or ad hoc? Fewer than half of data center pros have real green plan

Yes, most data center professionals are doing SOMETHING to green their facilities. Then why do more than half of them still expect to outgrow their existing space within five years?
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

The latest annual trends survey from data center trade association AFCOM finds that close to three-quarters of its membership is embracing some sort of green policy -- although fewer than half of those respondents (42.2 percent) have a FORMAL green technology policy.

What are data center professionals doing most actively from a green standpoint? Approximately 61 percent are using less power as a result while slightly more than half (51.4 percent) are working on efficiencies related to their cooling technology. Of those who are actively doing something about their data center, 11.5 percent report improvements in their organization's water usage.

So, OK, you're not surprised, right?

The thing that DID give me pause was the report that approximately of the professionals responding to AFCOM's survey expect to require additional data center space within the span of five years. About 32.6 percent plan to upgrade or extend their existing facilities to accommodate, while 30 percent will move outright. About 11.2 percent will add data center pods (aka data centers in-a-box).

What these two data points say to me is that 1) More organizations need to rise above ad hoc fixes to their green technology profile, because they are too rooted in short-term fixes and 2) The modular data center concept will continue to gain traction when the economy turns.

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