The rapidly increasing demand for digital processing for everything from online banking to e-Bay auctions, Amazon orders, Google searches, and iTunes and YouTube downloads has become part of the global warming story. A new study suggests that large-scale computing facilities, or data centers, are a fast-growing contributor to global warming and a drain on corporate profitability.
The report, Revolutionizing Data Center Energy Efficiency-Key Analyses (Powerpoint presentation), calls for an immediate overhaul of corporate management practices and a doubling of the energy efficiency of large-scale corporate computing facilities by 2012.
The report, from McKinsey & Company, with strong support from Uptime Institute, makes three primary recommendations which could help corporations double the energy efficiency of data- and network-center computing:
1) Mandate inclusion of true total cost of ownership, including data center facilities, in the business-case justification of new products and applications to throttle excess demand
2) Rapidly mature and integrate asset management capabilities to reach the same par as the security function
3) Formally move accountability for data center critical facilities expense and operations to the CIO and appoint an internal “Energy Czar” with an operations and technology mandate to double IT energy efficiency by 2012
To achieve the recommended doubling of energy efficiency, McKinsey and Uptime suggest that equipment manufacturers and industry groups establish uniform metrics, along the lines of the metrics used for automobile fuel consumption, that will measure the individual and combined energy efficiency of corporate, public-sector- and third-party-hosted data centers.