Symantec's worldwide Green Data Centre report has highlighted a sharp contrast between companies' interest in, and execution of, green data centre initiatives.
Nearly three quarters of respondents indicated an interest in adopting a strategic green data centre initiative, but only one in seven have been successful at implementing such a policy.
"Data centre managers are running out of space, and energy costs are skyrocketing," said Mark Bregman, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Symantec.
"So they are motivated to implement green data centre initiatives for cost reduction and efficiency purposes.
"The report indicates that cost savings and business pressure to maintain performance, and meet increasingly aggressive service level agreements, are the main reasons for implementing many green strategies.
"For them it is beyond environmental concerns; it is about meeting business goals and reducing costs."
Respondents noted that, while energy efficiency is a priority, it must be balanced by business needs. The increasing emphasis on creating energy efficiencies has added another layer of complexity in managing today's data centre.
The study found that software is the top strategy for creating energy efficiencies. Some 51 per cent and 47 per cent of respondents indicated plans to consolidate and virtualise servers respectively.
Nearly 68 per cent of respondents indicated that reducing energy played a role in their decision to implement virtualisation and server consolidation.
Respondents also revealed that most data centre managers are at least planning to implement power management products.
Just under a third are implementing power management on selected equipment, and 13 per cent on equipment throughout the data centre.
Energy-efficient CPUs were the second most popular technology for data centre power reduction. Some 28 per cent of respondents cited this as one of the two technologies they believe will reduce power consumption.
Other plans included replacing older kit with more energy-efficient equipment (44 per cent), recycling obsolete hardware components (39 per cent), monitoring power consumption (38 per cent) and reducing the space used by servers (37 per cent).
The findings also indicated that adoption of green data centres varies considerably by geography.
Slightly more than a third of companies based in the US have corporate green policies, as do almost 60 per cent of companies from Asia-Pacific and Japan, and 55 per cent from Europe.
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