Survey: Data Centers Lack Tools for Green Initiatives

A survey by the Aperture Research Institute (ARI) of more than 100 data center professionals has shown that organizations are unable or unwilling to meet the expectations set by their adoption of green initiatives for the data center.

This follows an earlier ARI report published in March 2008, which discovered that 70 percent of organizations are adopting green initiatives, although 19 percent of those had omitted the data center from that program.

In the latest study, 74 percent of those surveyed refused to activate power-saving features on devices if it would require a drop in performance. While 37 percent are concerned that the power/performance ratio doesn't add up, 15 percent worry that they have no way to track whether the power saving setting is on or off. Nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed blame the business for not using power-saving features, saying that users wouldn't tolerate a drop in performance in the interests of saving power.

When it comes to procurement, energy efficiency and ease of disposal are the lowest priorities, rated as less significant than brand and price. Thirty-seven percent of data centers have no plans to measure energy efficiency, and 76 percent do not charge the business for the power used by the IT they commission. One reason for that is a lack of infrastructure for measuring power consumption.

Steve Yellen, principal of the Aperture Research Institute, said: "The No. 1 cause of increasing power consumption is an increase in demand for IT services, so business managers must be made accountable for the energy their applications consume. Only 24 percent of organizations we surveyed said the IT department charges the business for energy use. They simply don't have the technology to be able to implement the management processes they need."

The survey also found that decommissioning processes are not strictly followed, and "ghost servers" haunt the data centers of 19 percent of organizations. Ghost servers are those servers that the business no longer needs, but which have not been switched off.

For the latest survey, visit

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