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Research reminder: The need to control IT electricity use isn't confined to the data center

Data alert: Forrester Research has published charts from a new survey this month reporting that technology OUTSIDE the data center uses more electricity than the stuff that lives inside. The findings are part of the research firm's regular Enterprise and SMB Hardware Survey cycle, which it conducts on a quarterly basis, and tapped the opinions of 308 decision-makers from North America and Europe.

Data alert: Forrester Research has published charts from a new survey this month reporting that technology OUTSIDE the data center uses more electricity than the stuff that lives inside. The findings are part of the research firm's regular Enterprise and SMB Hardware Survey cycle, which it conducts on a quarterly basis, and tapped the opinions of 308 decision-makers from North America and Europe.

These companies reported that technology outside the data center such as PCs, monitors and printers typically accounts for 55 percent of the IT electricity use in their company, compared with 45 percent for the server and network infrastructure inside. Forrester didn't say specifically say how it defined "IT outside the data center" in its survey, so the number MIGHT also include office equipment such as copiers.

Not surprisingly, companies from the telecommunications and utility sector tended to use more electricity in their data centers than other industries. On average, these businesses reported that their data centers accounted for about 32 percent of the TOTAL electricity use at their company, as opposed to business services firms (22 percent) or manufacturers (22 percent).

Finance and insurance companies, which have tons of printers lying around to create gazillion reports, reported that technology outside the data center accounted for about 33 percent of total electricity usages. That was a few points higher than for any of the other industries.

From a geographic standpoint, European companies used less electricity in their data centers than North American ones, according to the Forrester research. Ditto for stuff outside the data center. There was very little difference in usage when it came to company size.