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Power-hungry data centres prey on CIOs' minds

Quoting Silicon.com

Energy considerations are playing into data centre buying decisions, according to a survey commissioned by Sun Microsystems.

The study, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that IT executives are increasingly aware of energy, with three-quarters of the nearly 200 executives queried saying energy-efficiency has become a buying priority.

On the other hand, the study found many IT directors - 38 per cent of respondents - do not know how much they are spending on electricity.

David Douglas, Sun's vice president of eco-responsibility, said: "There are people out there running out of power in their data centres and thinking about energy but [who] have not yet moved to the next stage - managing power consumption, which is sizable piece of their budget."

The Sun-commissioned study validates Sun's decision to focus on energy efficiency in its server product design and marketing, said Douglas.

Internally, Sun has taken a number of energy-saving steps, such as reducing energy consumption of its own data centres and having employees work at home, according to Douglas.

He said the majority of technology consumers are driven by practical concerns in regards to energy, rather than environmental goals.

For example, many companies are maxing out the power equipment in their data centres, which is needed to run and cool computing gear. Some companies spend nearly 20 per cent of their IT budget on electricity, Douglas said.

A very small percentage, which is comprised of very large corporations, is energy-conscious for both economic and environmental reasons, he said. These companies monitor the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases they emit.

Sun is working on a number of data centre energy-saving initiatives that could be offered as products.

The company is looking at ways to bring cooling devices closer to the computing gear that generates the most heat, Douglas said.

It is also looking at ways virtualisation can be used, he added. Virtualisation technology will allow customers to potentially power down under-used PCs and consolidate the computing load on other servers, Douglas said.

In addition, Sun is in negotiation with several utilities in the US to replicate a rebate programme around Sun servers that it established with California utility Pacific Gas & Electric, he said.

Read the original, here.

Published Sunday, October 15, 2006 9:59 AM by David Marshall
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