Enterprise IT has long been at the forefront of corporate efforts to "go green." Datacenters are notorious resource hogs, blamed for
consuming over 2 percent of the world's electricity. And the datacenters of leading Web companies Apple, Facebook, and Google have been accused of being big carbon-emission culprits.
So it's heartening to hear that companies are taking energy efficiency seriously, and that IT is playing a key role in their strategies.
According to a report from IT services company CDW, datacenter power consumption has become a major focal point for an increased enterprise interest in energy savings.
In a survey of 760 US-based IT professionals, CDW found that 54 percent now have or are developing programs to manage energy demand and power consumption. Of those who have adopted power management tactics for their datacenters, 75 percent have reduced energy costs. And most respondents are favoring energy-efficient IT products for at least one third of IT expenditures.
CDW's survey respondents noted virtualization and server consolidation among the top tactics for energy conservation and savings.
Table 1: Which of the following actions/technologies is your organization executing to reduce power demand and/or energy consumption in the datacenter?
|Implement hardware that employes newer, low-power, low-wattage processors
|Implement Energy Star devices
|Deploy more power-efficient networking equipment
|Employe energy-efficient/load-shedding uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)
|Employ new cooling approaches
|Increase use of hosted services
There is also a move afoot to
use smart building technology, in which sensors are outfitted throughout a building or datacenter in order to track energy use relative to system and storage power, environmental temperature and cooling, and other datacenter elements. In these situations, enterprises are extending the use of smart building technology, in which sensors detect energy usage and analytics report potential areas for improvement. This is enabling successful implementation outside of datacenters.
So what's not to love? There are at least two impediments to IT-based resource management. One is human. Learning to use smart building technology effectively and to put improvements into practice can only happen if users are trained and ready to take action. "The best smart sensor is a person," said IBM's VP of industry solutions, Dave Bartlett, at a recent conference.
Another problem can be designing solutions for landlords or enterprise overseers who don't see the benefits. In
the benefits that smart building systems (SBS) have brought to integrator Infosys in India, Rohan Parikh, Head of Green Initiatives, told InformationWeek: "SBS are relatively new to India; therefore, building owners tend to look at SBS as an optional system and not an essential part of the building. Further, till date, the benefits of SBS haven't been communicated to a wider audience."
Despite any hindrances, though, environmentally friendly datacenters have become a priority for many enterprises, which are turning to a range of solutions, including smart building systems, to achieve greener results.
— Mary Jander , Managing Editor, Internet Evolution