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Uptime Institute Survey Reveals Trends in Data-Center Energy Conservation

By Nadine M. Post

This article first appeared on Engineering News-Record.

September 18, 2012

Well over half of the respondents to a recent survey of 1,100 data center owners and operators around the globe said that saving energy is a major priority for their organizations. Eighty-two percent said saving energy translates to cost-savings. Yet most companies do not have financial incentives optimized to affect real change.

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These are some of the findings of the Uptime Institute's second annual data center industry survey, conducted in March and April.

Information technology organizations that take a systematic approach to saving energy will get the most benefit, says the survey. They need to consolidate applications and servers, de-duplicate data, remove comatose but power-draining servers, build redundancy into the applications and IT architecture rather than the physical systems and improve server utilization.

More than 70% of respondents said they collect power usage data. A quarter said they are collecting carbon emissions data, and 34% are collecting water usage data.

The percentage of respondents that reported deploying a prefab modular center has doubled from 4% to 8% since last year. And the number of respondents who said they are not at all interested in modular decreased from 55% down to less than half.

For those building modular, a brick-and-mortar server room with preconfigured, self-contained power and cooling blocks is the most popular option.

The majority of respondents said they will try to meet demand for increased server capacity without building new facilities.

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