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Who cares about green IT? Not us!

Who cares about going green? Apparently, datacentre managers don't, if this story is to be believed.
Written by Manek Dubash, Contributor

Who cares about going green? Apparently, datacentre managers don't, if this story is to be believed.

It reports research from Gartner showing that "while energy management is the top environmental priority for two thirds of respondents, just seven per cent think green procurement is vital in the overall scheme of things". Only 130 individuals were surveyed, so it's not a huge sample but Gartner's conclusion is that measurement and monitoring of data centre energy use will remain immature until 2011 largely because: "even if more energy efficient servers or energy management tools were available, data centre and IT managers are far more interested in internal projects like consolidation, rationalisation and virtualisation."

Depressingly, about half of the managers haven't even started thinking about what metrics they'd use as the basis for energy management. As Gartner notes: "without metrics it is impossible to get accurate data, which is essential to evaluating basic costs, proportioning these costs to different users and setting policies for improvement.".

What datacentre managers are saying is that their facilities are full or filling fast, with 15 per cent saying that their data centres are already at capacity and that they'll be forced to build new sites or refurbish existing sites within the next 12 months.

According to the research company, what server managers need to do now is to turn up the heat in their facilities to save energy, as most modern servers are capable of running at higher temperatures than the often chilly 18-20 degrees at which datacentres are often maintained.

What Gartner might also have added is that facilities managers and financial directors need to ensure that IT departments are responsible for their energy costs, rather than the bill being absorbed in general overheads. This kind of initiative is increasingly happening according to people I've spoken to, and does tend to increase the focus on efficiency.

That said, the fact that there's a focus on "consolidation, rationalisation and virtualisation" suggests that energy savings are on the agenda but that, for a project to reach the implementation stage, there have to be other benefits too.

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