Green Data Centers

Dec. 16, 2009
Green technologies such as virtualization, cloud computing, and power management techniques are capable of significantly lowering the energy consumption of a data center.

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 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, says Frost & Sullivan.

"It is estimated that IT infrastructure alone contributes about 5-10% 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 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.

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. "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 million.

"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."

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