Business case needed for data centre efficiency: Ovum

Carbon and water usage need to be addressed, analyst says

IT managers must build a business case for greater data centre efficiency measurement if they are to bring costs under control, according to analyst firm Ovum.

In a new report, entitled From Money Pit to Profitability: The Business Case for Data Centre Efficiency Metrics, Ovum said that most organisations do not adequately measure resource use in their data centres and can not tackle rising costs.

Ovum US senior analyst, Rhonda Ascierto, said that IT managers needed to talk with management and drive investment for an efficiency measurement strategy.

“Despite the fact that data centres are inefficient money pits, most organisations are not measuring inefficiencies or resource use," she said in a statement.

"Disparate IT systems and a lack of information sharing among different site teams have fuelled the attitude that data efficiency measurement is too difficult and expensive to implement.

"This means a massive opportunity is being missed to reduce the vast resources that data centres swallow up."

According to the report, using the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric alone was not an adequate measurement strategy.

Ascierto said organisations should be implementing PUE with several new metrics - including Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) and Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) - released by The Green Grid , a not-for-profit organisation that created PUE.

“PUE only measures the efficiency of a facility’s infrastructure, such as air conditioning and lighting," she said. "Judging a data centre on PUE alone is akin to judging a company’s performance solely on earnings per share.

"The ways in which data centres consume resources are complex and multi-dimensional, and multiple metrics are needed to properly gauge their efficiency.”

The Ovum report follows a prediction by analyst firm Gartner in March that better design, Green IT, high density environments and Cloud computing would shrink the data centre by 2018.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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