Data center power outages, space concerns cited by survey

* Survey from ONStor reveals many are running out of power, cooling or space in their data centers without warning

There has been a lot of attention to energy efficiency in data centers lately. The latest – a survey from clustered network attached storage vendor ONStor – reveals that more than half of the respondents had run out of power, cooling or space without warning.

Although 63% of 369 IT professionals said that running out of space or power in their data centers had occurred, 40% said it had not prompted them to discuss green data center initiatives. However, 60% said they had adopted energy-efficient practices.

Forty three percent of the respondents said that they could stay in their current data center infrastructures for only 6 months to a year if they changed nothing. Almost a quarter of the respondents said that the cost and time for building another data center was driving their efforts to reduce power consumption. (As an aside, according to EYP Mission Critical Facilities, hardware gear – storage arrays, servers and networking equipment – accounts for 50% of the power requirements in the data center.)

Nearly 40% of the respondents said they would go green if they could be guaranteed a 20% to 50% cost savings. One-third would do it for only a 10% to 20% savings.

Although half of the respondents favor service-level agreements and chargebacks to departments for their power and capacity consumption, only half of that group (25% of total respondents) have implemented SLAs or chargeback mechanisms.

John West, CIO for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center cites six ways to run a more efficient data center. The story is informative in that it looks at issues other than network gear that contribute to data center outages.

ONStor cites the recent Environmental Protection Agency report that says the IT industry consumed 1.5% of the electrical power in the United States last year – that amounted to 61 billion kilowatt hours. The report also said that power consumption could nearly double by 2011. 

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