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Data centre managers in dark on energy use

Two thirds of data centre managers have no idea how much energy they are using while nearly a quarter do not know what they can do to become more energy efficient.

The independent research conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of OmniBoss found 60 per cent of UK businesses wanted to reduce their carbon footprint in the next 18 months and 61 per cent felt under pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Despite this IT managers said cost was still a major hurdle to overcome.

David Galton-Fenzi, Group Sales Director at IT infrastructure specialist Zycko, said: 'The fact that almost two thirds of businesses are committed to improving their green credentials shows how far we have come over the past few years, and demonstrates a real shift in attitudes towards climate change and the environment. This is a very positive sign.

“It is clear from the research that most organisations have made the commitment to reduce their carbon emissions but they need help implementing the required changes. This presents an opportunity, as it reveals a gap in the market for IT suppliers to add consultation on green issues to their service offering.”

The efficient cooling of data centres is becoming an increasingly important issue with air conditioning and cooling accounting for 30 to 70 per cent of energy usage.

Google has just published best practice guidance developed from its own strategies, Intel is also researching low carbon cooling strategies and Microsoft has also been involved in efforts to find alternative ways to cut energy usage at data centres.

Measures to be considered include better use of existing storage centres, more effective monitoring of heating and cooling and analysis of power delivery.

Mr Galton-Fenzi said: “Over the past year we have seen energy prices skyrocket, resulting in power consumption becoming both an environmental and a capital issue.

“Any reduction in energy usage inevitably results in a cost saving for businesses. Suppliers can work with their clients to find solutions that address both cost and green issues simultaneously.”

Our picture shows a cooling tower at a Google data centre.