Data Centre Managers Focus on Green IT, but Too Many Neglect the Metrics
Data centre and IT managers are not paying sufficient attention to the process of measuring, monitoring and modelling energy use in data centres, according to a recent interactive poll conducted by Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that unless users start to create accurate dashboards, they will not be able to reduce energy costs and meet compliance requirements.
The Gartner webinar conducted in April 2009 among more than 130 attendees from the infrastructure and operations (I&O) management found that although green IT issues remain at the top of the agenda, respondents consider vendor and green procurement a low priority activity for the next 18 months. Although 68 per cent of respondents thought data centre energy management is their most important green IT issue for the next 18 months, only 7 per cent consider green procurement and pushing vendors to create more energy efficient and greener solutions as their top priority.
“This finding is further affirmed in client conversations which reveal that, although the green IT and data centre energy issue has been on the agenda for some time now, many managers feel that they have to deal with more-immediate concerns before focusing attention on their suppliers’ products,” said Rakesh Kumar, research vice president at Gartner. “In other words, even if more energy efficient servers or energy management tools were available, data centre and IT managers are far more interested in internal projects like consolidation, rationalisation and virtualisation.”
Despite this apparent lack of concern for the measuring and monitoring of energy use, around 63 per cent of poll respondents said that they will face data centre capacity constraints in the next 18 months. More importantly, 15 per cent said that their data centres are already at capacity and will be forced to build new sites or refurbish existing sites within the next 12 months.
Gartner said that energy management (both in terms of capacity and cost) can only be effective through advanced monitoring, modelling and measuring techniques and processes. However, when asked which energy management metrics they will use in the next 18 months, 48 per cent of respondents have not even considered the issue of metrics. However, without metrics it is impossible to get accurate data, which is essential to evaluating basic costs, proportioning these costs to different users and setting policies for improvement.
“These metrics form the bedrock for internal cost and efficiency programmes and will become increasingly important for external use,” said Mr Kumar. “Organisations that want to publicise their carbon usage through green accounting principles will need to have their basic energy use continuously monitored.”
Mr Kumar also urged organisations not to rely on internal metrics saying that evaluating server energy needs to be done in an open and transparent manner.
In order to include metrics, measurement and modelling in a data centre’s green IT strategy, Gartner recommends that data centre and IT managers implement the following recommendations with immediate effect:
Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Data Centers Focus on Green, but Many Neglect Metrics." The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?ref=g_search&id=1100315&subref=simplesearch
Mr Kumar will further discuss best practices for new data centre construction and retrofits at the Gartner Data Center Summit 2009, 5-6 October. For more information please visit www.europe.gartner.com/datacenter
Members of the press can register for the Summit by contacting Laurence Goasduff, Gartner PR on + 44 (0) 1784 267 195 or at Laurence.firstname.lastname@example.org
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,100 associates, including more than 1,700 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.