With the IT industry responsible for about two percent of the world’s carbon emissions and data centers as the fastest growing part of that equation, investments in greener data centers will grow rapidly over the next five years, increasing from $7.5 billion in global revenue to $41.4 billion by 2015, according to a report from Pike Research. This represents a 28 percent share of the total data center market.
The report, “Green Data Centers,” finds that IT organizations are now focused on implementing solutions that will reduce energy costs and carbon emissions related to data center operations. No matter the size of data centers, they must become more energy-efficient to address energy costs and carbon emission constraints, more dynamic to adapt to new business needs and new technology opportunities, and become virtualized to ensure optimal use of IT resources, space and energy, say researchers.
According to Greening Greater Toronto, a majority of servers in data centers operate at only four percent average utilization, representing a huge opportunity for organizations to reduce energy use through better design and operation.
“Cost of energy has seldom been a concern for IT departments in the past, and there was little incentive to invest in energy efficiency improvements,” says industry analyst Eric Woods. “But as data center energy costs become more visible, the financial benefits of moving to a greener mode of operation are being recognized by CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs.”
The report also finds that the trend toward green data centers is connected to the broader transformation that data centers are undergoing, which includes technical innovation, operational improvement, new design principles, and changes to the relationship between IT and business.
The report looks at new developments in power and cooling infrastructure, server, storage and network technology, and software management systems. The research indicates that power and cooling infrastructure solutions will be the largest portion of the green data center market opportunity, representing 46 percent of revenue over the next five years.
This will be followed by energy-efficient IT equipment with 41 percent of the market, and monitoring and management with 14 percent of total revenue.