Power considerations in the data center

Incremental improvements in data center energy efficiency will not meet increasing demand for power. IT pros must consider radical change.

Incremental improvements in data center energy efficiency will not meet increasing demand for power. IT pros need to consider radical change or get out of the data center business.

For the past three years, green computing has been on the IT agenda and many companies have implemented best practices to become more energy efficient. Data centers now use hot aisle/cold aisle and install blanking panels to avoid mixing air. IT pros have consolidated workloads with server virtualization and boosted server utilization from single-digit percentages.

Nonetheless, as CPU and storage demand outstrip progress, IT energy consumption grows unabated. Incremental improvements in cooling and server efficiency won't be enough to avoid the coming power and carbon crisis.

This special report with links to resources helps explain why data center energy use is about to hit the wall and illustrates the next steps for companies to go beyond the basics.

This was first published in May 2008

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