Survey: Many Organizations Still Unsure about Data Center Energy Efficiency

Forty-six percent of respondents to a recent survey said they were uncertain as to whether their data center had improved in energy efficiency over the last two years.

The survey, conducted by Secure I.T. Environments Ltd, found that almost half (47%) were confident that energy efficiency had indeed improved over the last two years, while only 7% said their energy efficiency had declined.  

“It is surprising that so many organizations do not understand the energy usage and efficiency of their data centers, because it can tell them a lot about their infrastructure,” said Chris Wellfair, projects director at Secure I.T. Environments. “Regular monitoring of key performance indicators across the data center can not only improve efficiency, but lower costs, identify failing equipment and improve maintenance regime.”

The survey also found 47% of respondents’ biggest concern over the next three years is the lack of budget available for data center management and/or infrastructure upgrades. The second biggest worry for those surveyed was their ability to demonstrate improved ICT energy efficiency (33%). Joint third place worries were budget allocation for software and systems developments, and finding/recruiting qualified ICT staff (30%).

In terms of data breach concerns, 40% of respondents said they were more concerned than ever about the threat of one. Twenty-four percent felt that the security threats they faced had not increased, despite more reports of DDoS and other attacks that have occurred over recent months, some over 500 Gbps.

Security (38%) was given as the greatest priority for organizations when facing limited budgets, followed by the upgrade or ICT systems and infrastructure (29%) and maintenance of ICT systems and infrastructure (26%).

“Security remains important to the data center community, with data breaches the biggest concern,” said Wellfair. “It is important that those with responsibility for personally identifiable information in data centers protect against internal and external risks of data breaches and remember that the physical protection of the data center is as important as the online threat.”

Last week, tech giants Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft – companies that use extraordinary amounts of energy via data centers – announced plans to continue their clean energy initiatives even after President Trump’s executive order regarding the Clean Power Plan.  

And earlier this year, a bill (HR 306) passed by the US House of Representatives proposes a set of energy efficiency standards, designed to save as much as $5 billion in energy costs by 2020, directed at federal data centers.

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