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The Green's the Reason To Go Green

While almost 75 percent of data center managers say they have an interest in adopting a strategic green center initiative, only one in seven have successfully done so, according to a study released by Symantec Corp.

It seems that what's driving the few green deployments has less to do with saving the environment than with cost savings, the ever-present business pressure to maintain performance and the need to meet aggressive service-level agreements. In other words, it's the other green that's inspiring them.

"Data center managers are running out of space and energy costs are skyrocketing, so they're motivated to 'green' the data center for cost reduction and efficiency purposes," says Mark Bergman, executive VP and CTO at Symantec. "For them, it's beyond environmental concerns -- it's about meeting business goals and reducing costs," he says.

But it's not all about hard, cold cash. Many respondents made it clear that saving energy is an important consideration but must be carefully balanced by business needs. They noted that the growing emphasis on gaining greater energy efficiencies has added another layer of complexity to managing data centers.

So, as a way to better manage and reduce costs, the study clearly indicates that most data center professionals are turning to software-oriented solutions. Most of these software solutions are designed to manage server consolidations and virtualized environments as part of implementing a green initiative. Of the respondents, 51 percent and 47 percent said they plan to consolidate and virtualize servers, respectively. In fact, 68 percent said reducing energy played a role in their decision to implement virtualization and server consolidation.

However, survey results show that hardware is still an important consideration in green initiatives. Energy efficient CPUs were the second most popular technology for data center power reduction, with some 28 percent of respondents choosing them as one of the two technologies that can best reduce power consumption.

In the context of the Symantec study, a green data center is defined as one that has increased efficiencies in energy use, power consumption and space utilization, and measurably reduced polluting energy sources.

About the Author

Ed Scannell is the editor of Redmond magazine.

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