BOULDER, USA: The energy costs of information technology (IT) are becoming increasingly visible for enterprises in a variety of industries. In the past, energy consumption was not seen as a priority issue in the data center and the split of responsibilities between IT and facilities organizations within the enterprise made it easy to skirt the issue of energy efficiency.
However, according to a recent report from Pike Research, this dynamic is changing quickly, and the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that by 2015, global investment in energy efficient data center technologies will represent 28 percent of the $150 billion data center infrastructure market.
“The green data center has evolved in response to concern over energy use, but it is also connected to the broader transformation that data centers are undergoing,” says senior analyst Eric Woods. “Data centers of the future will be more energy efficient, more adaptable to new business needs and new technology opportunities, and virtualized to ensure optimal use of IT resources, space, and energy.”
As part of its analysis, Pike Research has identified seven key trends that are shaping the future of the green data center:
Taming Moore’s Law – IT managers are recognizing the energy and environmental costs of the continuing expansion of computing power, and are actively looking for ways to counteract them.
The Virtualized Data Center – Over the next five years, data centers will move toward a totally virtualized environment that can provide computer services from both public and private cloud models.
Dynamic Infrastructure – The life cycles of power and cooling infrastructure will become more aligned with the IT assets it supports.
Integrated Management and Monitoring Systems – More dynamic data centers will require more sophisticated management tools and a holistic view of the entire ecosystem.
Business Value – The relationship between the data center and the business it serves is changing. If the data center is to be part of a broader sustainability program, then its true cost must be more visible to the business.
New Metrics – Power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratings are a first step for new data center metrics, but PUE hides as much as it discloses and more work will be needed to define an acceptable measure for the productivity of the data center.
From Modular Design to the Green Data Factory – Modularization in data center design will be combined with more flexible approaches to provisioning. This is part of a broader shift to an industrialized view of the data center.