MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - December 16, 2009 - The economic downturn has emerged as an unlikely driver for the adoption of green data centers. In an attempt to cut costs, data center owners are investigating technologies and solutions that would enhance the energy efficiency of their data centers. Information technology (IT) companies running data centers are also keen on implementing green technologies that might not have been a high priority if not for the economic slump.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.technicalinsights.frost.com), Green Data Centers--Emerging Trends and Developments, finds that cost savings, along with the economic downturn, have emerged as the main catalysts in green IT initiatives.
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"It is estimated that IT infrastructure alone contributes about 5-10 percent of the total energy utilized for running a company," notes Technical Insights Research Analyst Achyuthanandan S. "Consequently, companies are scouting for technologies and solutions that would aid in significantly reducing the energy consumed by IT infrastructure."
High energy costs are motivating Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to find technologies that will help reduce power bills. Green technologies such as virtualization, cloud computing, and power management techniques are capable of significantly lowering the energy consumption of a data center.
In the past few years, there have been several instances where companies have cut energy costs and operational expenditure by adopting green technologies in the data center. Although a majority of companies claim that they are going green due to environmental concerns, cost saving is the primary objective of adopting green IT.
Green technologies offer three main advantages. Reduced energy consumption in data centers leads to both cost and environmental benefits. In addition, the dissipation of less heat compared to typical data center hardware results in minimal cooling requirements. Virtualization also aids in significantly reducing the number of servers required for IT operations, thereby saving considerable space.
Designing a green data center is an arduous and expensive task. Data centers need to deliver the highest quality at affordable costs, impelling managers to evaluate the organization's requirements in detail. Deploying a green data center involves high capital expenditure (CAPEX).
"Although there are considerable savings in the future, enterprises are expected to be cautious before procuring green technologies as costs associated with implementing a green IT infrastructure is high," explains Technical Insights Research Analyst Gaurav Sundararaman. "The cost associated with building a state-of-the-art data center could exceed $200.00 million."
Vendors require infrastructure to support efficient cooling techniques and buy new servers to handle virtualization and uninterrupted power supply, all of which require sizeable investments. Currently, not many companies are capable of investing so much money on these aspects due to cost constraints. Companies have reported the operating expenditure to be close to 100 percent of the CAPEX. Due to the high CAPEX, small and medium enterprises shy away from greener data centers, as they do not have sufficient resources to raise the capital needed to enhance their infrastructure.
The IT industry should focus on energy management software and develop innovative platforms to increase the power efficiency of data centers. Industry leaders and standard bodies should promote the development of cost-effective cooling techniques for data centers. Researchers and industry participants need to look at alternatives to reduce heat emissions in the data center.
"Industry leaders should channel R&D efforts towards the development of cost-effective green technologies that are affordable for data center owners," concludes Sundararaman. "Consortiums can take assistance from university researchers to develop low cost green techniques that improve the energy efficiency of data centers."
Green Data Centers--Emerging Trends and Developments, a part of the Technical Insights subscription, provides a technology overview and outlook for the energy technology. The study covers industry trends that are shaping the move toward green, energy efficient data centers. Further, this research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and research services.
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Green Data Centers--Emerging Trends and Developments
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