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To Scalability and Beyond! Part 1

From the experts | Posted on January 10, 2012 by Emily A. Davidson

IT Managers discover the high cost of ignoring data center efficiency.

Your data center is running low on space. Your cooling system is at its limit. Network demands are growing. Energy demands are growing. The business is growing. You need more power. You need more servers. You feel like standing on the boardroom table and shouting,

“I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain! If I push it any harder the whole thing will blow!”

What do you do when all she’s got isn’t enough? It’s a classic case of the plant outgrowing its pot. It’s easy for IT managers to simply add servers, but adding servers takes up space, uses energy and overcrowds the network. On the other hand, if the plant is too small for the pot (think server sprawl) you risk wasting money purchasing more capacity than what you really use.

Either way, it costs more money.

What if a green thumb tapped your shoulder and told you they can improve the performance, availability and energy efficiency of your company’s data center – all while reducing overall energy costs and avoiding capital expenditures? You think,

“Any man who could perform such a feat, I wouldn’t dare disappoint.”

This would allow your data center operate more efficiently, and you could take it one step further and integrate data center performance improvements into an overall corporate sustainability strategy.

Injecting sustainability into your data center makes sense. Adopting practices that allow for reducing consumption, reusing resources and recycling power opens up marketing opportunities to show off your company’s efforts to create a greener future for business; and in good time. Consumers are demanding companies be held accountable for their environmental footprint and respond positively to stories of green corporate policies and procedures.

It’s hip to be green

 So creating a more efficient data center is possible – how do you sell this idea to your CEO?

 “Starfleet captains are like children. They want everything right now and they want it their way. But the secret is to give them only what they need, not what they want.”

 Give them cost savings. A 40% reduction in energy costs across the business can translate into a 40% ownership savings. For some organizations this means
millions of dollars in reusable money. When added to an overall sustainability strategy, an efficient data center can:

  • Reduce costs for energy, water and waste
  • Refresh your brand image
  • Grow your market share

In addition, showing off your green data center and corporate sustainability plan attracts new customers who are reducing their own footprint by choosing green partners. IBM recently completed a study interviewing executives at 320 global companies covering 26 industries and 31 countries. Out of these leaders,

  • 40% had a documented detailed strategy for corporate sustainability that included priorities, objectives and assigned resources
  • 34% are executing a plan with defined roles, processes and systems
  • 12% did not have a documented sustainability strategy
  • 8% said their sustainability strategy is separate from their business strategy
  • 1/3 of the study group had a ‘loosely implemented’ strategy
  • 23%  had an integrated sustainability and business strategy

The rest of the companies, the ‘innovator group,’ considered their sustainability strategy to be the nucleus of their overall business strategy. If this many companies can go green, it becomes a misconception that going green means a compromise or forfeit of resources. There are clear economic benefits to improving corporate sustainability – starting with data center performance, availability and energy efficiency.

Related Post: To scalability and beyond! Part 2

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