Green data centers mean big business
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
New research out Thursday finds that the greening of data centers will ramp up over the next five years, with companies increasing their investment from $7.5 billion last year to $41.4 billion by 2015.
The IT industry is responsible for just 2 percent of the world's carbon emissions, but data centers are the fastest growing part of that footprint. And while energy efficiency has never been top of mind for techies, finding ways to reduce the costs of running data centers has become a higher priority for C-level executives.
"Cost of energy has seldom been a concern for IT departments in the past," said industry analyst Eric Woods of Pike Research in Colorado. "There was little incentive to invest in energy efficiency improvements. 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."
Pike Research's new report on the topic 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. Energy-efficient equipment will be the second largest category with 41 percent of the market, and monitoring and management will follow with 14 percent of total revenue.
Late last week Facebook announced plans to double the size of its Prineville data center before even building out the first phase, as the growing number of Facebookers has increased the need for data storage capacity.
While Facebook is catching flack from environmental groups for building in an area served by Pacific Power's coal-fired plants, the Web company is also going to great lengths to make sure the data center is as efficient as possible.
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