Although changing regulations and growing environmental concerns are causing companies to focus on sustainability, the cost savings and increased efficiencies are driving green initiatives even further.
This is the view of Helen Tang, worldwide lead of data centre transformation solutions at HP, who says budgets were slashed during 2007 and 2008, and that she doesn't see them improving over the next three years.
“Companies are using most of their IT spend just to 'keep the lights on'; the only way for them to improve their technology is to rationalise.”
According to her, the implementation of green technologies is gaining momentum, particularly in emerging markets, as they don't have legacy environments. This gives them more freedom to implement green solutions, and be early adopters of green technology.
However, she says companies across the globe are starting to understand that benefits to the environment translate into benefits to the business. Green technologies not only reduce energy costs, but can extend the life and capacity of a data centre, notes Tang. “Transforming the data centre can lower a company's cooling costs by 40%.”
Tang says the data centre is a logical starting point when greening an organisation, as it reduces the costs of maintaining or expanding the data centre, saving energy, and lowering a business' carbon footprint.
“Green initiatives are also integral to building a next-generation data centre that can meet changing business needs, lower costs, and achieve better business outcomes. This sort of architecture can be gained through integrating initiatives such as consolidation, modernisation and virtualisation.”
According to Tang, these initiatives combined can save as much as 20% to 30% in energy.
“Ultimately, greening the data centre has a long-term impact on the business. It helps companies meet their green goals as well as business outcomes. This in turn allows businesses to focus on innovation as opposed to maintenance, preparing them for growth.”