Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why should you care about Green IT?

There are some very pragmatic reasons why data center managers should be concerned about implementing green practices as the following talking points illustrate.

  • IT runs on electricity - A survey conducted last year by the Uptime Institute, enterprise data center managers responded that 42% of them expected to run out of power capacity within 12-24 months and another 23% claimed that they would run out of power capacity in 24-60 months.

  • The EPA Report to Congress detailed that data center sector consumed about 61 billion KWh in 2006 - approximately 1.5% total U.S. electricity consumption at a cost of ~$4.5 billion. These amounts are projected to increase to 100 billion kWh in 2011 or ~2.5% of total U.S. electricity consumption and ~$7.4 billion.

  • IDC estimates for every $1.00 spent on new data center hardware, an additional $0.50 is spent on power and cooling, more than double the amount of five years ago.

  • According to Gartner, 70 percent of CIO's are reporting that power and/or cooling issues are now their single largest problem in the data center. With 90% of companies running large data centers needing to build more power and cooling in the next 30 months.
  • Gartner estimates 48 percent of the data center budget being spent on energy, up from 8 percent a few years ago.

  • National average rate for electricity has jumped 44% since 2004 with only 5% of data center managers actually seeing the utility bill and few if any are held accountable for energy cost.
  • Incremental US demand for data center energy between 2007 and 2010 is equivalent to 10 new power plants.

  • Implementing sustainable manufacturing helps to manage disposal and recyclable fees. Electronic components contribute 2% to the solid waste in landfills but 40% of the lead.

  • The regulators are coming - Carbon tax; Cap and Trade. If you are not involved with green policy implementation the chances are you will be, to some degree or another, very soon!