An oxymoron? Data center consolidation is expanding

Survey finds growing efforts at energy conservation

Consolidation of data centers is growing, according to a new the survey, which found that 79 percent of respondents work for organizations that have or are developing a data center consolidation plan.

More than three-quarters of government IT managers have or are developing an energy efficiency plan and are familiar with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating system for their data centers, according to the 2010 Energy Efficient IT Report by CDW.

However, just 17 percent of those surveyed said they currently track the EPA program’s core measurement, Power Usage Effectiveness, or PUE.

The annual survey canvassed federal, state and local government agencies as well as mid-size and large businesses to determine where energy efficiencies rank among their IT priorities and what steps they are taking to improve efficiency.

Among federal respondents developing a data center consolidation strategy, the number one driver is reduced energy consumption (64 percent), followed by reduced expenditures on data center hardware, software, and operations (55 percent) and improved IT security (54 percent).

The survey, conducted by O’Keeffe and Co., for CDW, identified two big barriers to greater energy efficiency efforts: senior management assigning higher priorities to other areas and a lack of attention to energy usage costs.

CDW Government LLC., of Vernon Hills, Ill., ranks No. 52 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

Reader Comments

Fri, Nov 12, 2010 Rich Towers

It’s interesting, but not surprising, that energy efficiency is the primary driver of data center consolidation. This has been the trend in recent years, with the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative helping data centers to achieve energy savings mandates. As a result, companies cutting corners to achieve maximum efficiency, many times risking availability in the process. It’s vital to remember that some infrastructure changes (like high-density cooling and power distribution) should coincide with tactics like consolidation to ensure uptime isn’t sacrificed. Here’s a good roadmap for those making this type of change: http://bit.ly/c4si8M.

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