Businesses are starting to make their data centers greener, and they are reaping benefits to their bottom line in the process. According to a new report from technology services provider CDW, 43 percent of IT professionals who have a data center consolidation strategy consider “green initiatives” to be a top consideration.

Respondents report that 32 percent of today’s data center purchases are energy friendly. These purchases have made data centers greener, with respondents reporting that:

  • 65 percent have virtualized servers and storage.
  • 60 percent have consolidated servers.
  • 46 percent have implemented hardware with newer, low-power or low-wattage processors.
  • 44 percent have implemented ENERGY STAR devices.
  • 31 percent have deployed power-efficient networking equipment.
  • 28 percent use energy-efficient and load-shedding uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).
  • 23 percent have implemented new cooling approaches, including in-aisle cooling, hot/cold aisle containment, water cooling and power/cooling management software.
  • 17 percent have increased use of hosted services.

In addition to being better for the environment, these tactics have provided tangible energy savings to organizations implementing them. For instance, respondents estimate that virtualized servers and storage in the data center have reduced energy consumption by 28 percent over previous power use. New cooling approaches are 22 percent more energy efficient than older cooling methods. Of those respondents who have a plan in place to manage data center power consumption, more than 70 percent in each industry sector (including business, nonprofit, government and education) say they have reduced their actual data center energy costs by at least 1 percent.

While cloud computing is a market basket of discrete technologies and services, it is entirely about IT efficiency

Interestingly, IT professionals also view cloud computing as a key to managing energy use, with 62 percent of respondents calling it an energy efficient method of data center consolidation, an increase of 15 percent since 2010. Greenbiz reported that cloud computing also can lead to indirect energy savings, which while less important to the business, can be significant to the environment overall. Since cloud computing makes remote data access simple, it can reduce the need for employees to travel to a physical office, resulting in reduced “emissions from commuting, as well as lowering other environmental impacts associated with maintaining office space,” CDW told Greenbiz.

“While cloud computing is a market basket of discrete technologies and services, it is entirely about IT efficiency, and as a strategy, it can deliver significant energy savings that will complement other solutions within the data center,” Norm Lillis, vice president of systems solutions at CDW, said in a press release.

What kinds of energy efficient solutions have you employed in your data center plans? Is cloud computing among them?

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