Data centres ‘not cutting energy use’

IT professionals believe internet and eCommerce businesses need to reduce their carbon footprints but little real action is taking place, a report has shown.

A survey by the US-based Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum, server and data centre storage provider Rackable Systems, and Intel found 97% of professionals thought it was important to go green in data centres.

But more than 80% gave their organisations a failing grade when it comes to their progress to embrace environmental efficiencies, or Think Eco-Logical practices.

Think Eco-Logical – IT Sustainability Imperatives in Internet and eCommerce Business, a report on the findings of the survey, is part of the BPM Forum’s Think Eco-Logical initiative to educate companies on the environmental and economic benefits of energy efficiency in data centres.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has warned that over the next five years, power failures and limits on availability will stop operations at more than 90% of data centres, as demand for energy grows.

Derek Kober, programme director of the BPM Forum, said that although the survey showed firms had good intentions, they have a lot of work to do.

He told edie: “I would like to see that a year from now, if we do this again, grades will be better. We think that it’s realistic that within a year or two, significant changes can happen.

“And the economy, even though it’s a challenge because budgets are tight, it’s really another incentive for the business side that we need to be more efficient and cut costs.”

He added that he hoped the survey would raise more awareness among the industry about what needs, but that public awareness also needed to be raised about the energy used in data centres as a result of ordering online.

“The challenge is how do we put that in simple terms?” he said.

Jason Coari, senior marketing manager of Rackable Systems, told edie that governments also need to play a greater role in incentivising data centre operators to reduce energy use.

“I think an where it has been somewhat slow, especially here in the US – although hopefully that will change now with the new administration – is the government.”

Kate Martin

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