Going green in the data center space is continuing to gain popularity as energy costs are continuing to rise and environmental regulations are getting firmer. There is growing pressure from environmentalists and the general public for governments to offer green incentives, such as monetary support for the creation and maintenance of ecologically responsible technologies. Some of the top technologies being implemented are virtualized servers/storage, consolidated servers and energy star qualified devices, hardware that employs newer, low-power/low-wattage processors, and energy-efficient uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
A virtual server infrastructure can eliminate up to 90 percent of the hardware a conventional server deployment would require, saving valuable energy. Some businesses are using custom made servers that are able to work at higher a temperature, which decreases air cooling needs. Another option is to utilize rooftop solar systems to deliver clean, renewable energy to cut electrical usage. Innovation in servers and storage virtualization have made possible an entirely new way of designing energy-efficient data centers while accommodating the need for scaling performance and capacity. Building and certifying a green data center or other facility can be expensive up front; however long-term cost savings can be realized on operations and maintenance over time. For more information, here is a good article from Computerworld – “Seven Steps to a Green Data Center”. It seems the key to change occurring is good communication between finance and IT departments who need to work together to provide a financial incentive for change, as well as demanding energy efficient equipment from manufacturers. – LMN 4/23/12