"When you're buying new IT hardware anyway, make energy efficiency a key part of the procurement process," he says. A more energy-efficient server can cut consumption by 20%, conservatively, and possibly by as much as 50%. One key tip Brill offers is to look at the energy efficiency of a server's power supply - specifically when it's operating between 8% and 20% of capacity. (Read a story on how to reduce server power consumption.)
That's the actual load, and "that's where they are atrociously inefficient," he says. If a company can lower the energy consumption of data-center gear, it will not only save on its energy bills but also - much more significantly - slash the capital and operating costs associated with running the center.
"Energy consumption is significant and certainly we should look at it," Brill says. "But the more important thing is that the cost of operating a data center scales with energy consumption." (Read a story on the data-center cost reality.)
For 2009, Brill is pushing senior enterprise leaders to commit to reduce energy consumption significantly - because their business depends on it: "We think people who don't pay attention to these issues are going to see a meaningful reduction in their profitability."