Greening your data center

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Spencer Jurman
Mission Critical Solutions 

I’m looking forward to the Uptime Institute Symposium May 17-19 in New York, with its timely theme, “Data Center Efficiency & Green Enterprise IT,” . Jones Lang LaSalle is the sponsor of the Green Enterprise IT Awards recognizing projects, ideas, and products that significantly improve energy productivity and resource use in IT.  As companies look to reduce operational costs and minimize their carbon footprint, they are taking a closer look at their data center operations. Currently, IT represents 30 to 40 percent of a typical company’s energy consumption, and the EPA expects the potential for data center energy consumption to double by 2011. For many companies, data center costs are growing by 20 percent per year. As energy costs are expected to rise over the long-term, data center costs will continue to be a drag on corporate earnings—except for companies that improve energy performance at their facilities.

The most important consideration in operating data centers is zero down time, and in the past the argument has been made that focusing on energy efficiency might impair this primary goal.  In fact, experience shows that many of the same strategies that reduce energy usage and cost also boost data center reliability.

Many companies historically expanded  IT systems in haphazard ways.  Obsolete technology was frequently not removed, leading to scenarios where server utilization was lower than 6 percent and facility utilization was as low as 50 percent. Consolidating multiple platforms and virtualizing applications on one or two servers enhances user security by utilizing off-site data storage and improving disaster recovery, while also reducing the amount of energy needed to power and cool the system.

Stay tuned in, there’s more to come….

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