Data Center Management is facing challenges with an up-rise in the demand for increased flexibility from an organizations IT capabilities. Organization, operating in progressively interconnected global market, has its performance influenced by events that are mostly out of its direct control. The eruption in end-user technology and the stimulus from the consumer market has influenced the role of a data center and its strategic significance to the organization. Infrastructure management, in 2011, will need to evolve to reflect the change in focus, thanks to new disruptive technologies. Gone year 2010 was a difficult year for the economy, yet the New Year brings in new hopes – Prediction from Prominent U.S. economists is that the economy will grow an astonishing two to four percent in 2011.
Information Technology sector is expecting increasing demands for offshore outsourcing in streams of Infrastructure Management Services, Data Centre Management and in business models like SaaS, PaaS, IaaS etc this year. The expanding global IT capacity opens more and more business opportunities adding to increased growth of global economy. However, like every coin has other side to it, this IT expansion is negatively affecting the environment by creating power scarcity, over consumption of non-renewable resources and increased pollution. Today data centers are among the top consumers of energy. The carbon footprint from data centers is exponentially increasing year by year. Here comes the relevance of an environment friendly move on data centers.
The concept of green data centers is not new. More and more organizations are adopting the concept of earth friendly IT Infrastructure or green data centers. Since 2005 onwards the green concept has been addressing the issues of environmental impacts of carbon footprint, surging power demands, mounting electricity bills, e-waste management etc.
The environmental, financial and legislative factors are acting as the key forces towards the eco-friendly IT infrastructure.
Environmental specialists warn that the usage of non- renewable resources without suitable planning can lead to scarcity of resources in the very near future with the ever-rising global IT capacity. In addition, the increase of e- waste can create serious environmental impacts and health hazards. Most data centers require 100s to 1000′s of acres of land for setting their server farm. Since these lands cannot be accommodated in the city, rural areas, agricultural areas etc are being converted to IT industrial sites. Recent argument on the same issue has attracted many eyeballs – Greenpeace going after Facebook
The financial aspects of managing data center are worth considering as the DC locations are usually ranked by their operational costs. The rising cost of energy is a striking factor that makes more organizations to adopt the concept of green data centers. The power consumption of data centers have doubled between 2005- 2010. IT analysts foresee that the infrastructure power usage will soon cost more than the hardware itself. Going by the Green concept will reduce the exorbitant power and cooling costs to a great extend without compromising the operational efficiency. Green solutions bring in reduced floor space, supporting in cost saving efforts of enterprises. An ideal data center reduces power consumption without sacrificing performance or availability.
While considering the environmental and financial impacts, it is also important for organizations to be updated about the current regulatory norms. Industry consortium like The Green Grid is specifically focusing their efforts on lowering power consumption as well as promoting the adoption of energy efficient standards, measurements for the modern data centers. In UK, enterprises are now facing new challenges with the introduction of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) legislation. According to this legislation, from April 2010, Enterprises will be required to report on energy consumption and failure to do so could result in criminal penalties there. More than legislative measures, voluntary moves to earth friendly concept is being followed by many countries especially global offshore outsourcing destinations like India.
Converting an existing data centre in to an energy efficient green data centre is not a herculean task. With a few planned steps within data center management, enterprises can help to remodel their image in to green one.
In this era of data explosion, shrinking resources/floor space and soaring energy prices, let the global business world join the bandwagon of green data centers. An environment friendly green data centre will do the best for both economy and ecology.
So how green is your data center?