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Green Data Centres Are Far From A Reality For Both European and US Companies Alike

European businesses are overtaking taking the US in the drive for greener data centres. A recent survey by ONStor, the leading provider of scalable clustered NAS solutions for the enterprise, has already shown shocking statistics demonstrating that European businesses are lacking in effort when it comes to “greening” their data centres.

However, when the results of their US counterparts are taken into account, it is evident that Europeans aren’t the only group to neglect green issues in their organisations.

The findings, issued in advance of Storage Expo, indicate that 72% of European businesses have either already implemented a green initiative, or would adopt one in 6 months to 2 years.

Although this is a good start for Europe, for the US it is not so rosy. 60% of US businesses have implemented a green initiative, but a massive 40% said this issue had not even been discussed, despite the serious environmental and business issues involved.

The importance of updating technology in the data centre is beginning to strike companies both in Europe and the US, as the threats of power failure and excessive costs mount.

Over 40% of both European and US business have predicted that their current data centre will run out of space in less than a year. Worse still, 63% of US respondents, and 58% of their European peers, have already run out of space, power and cooling capacity in their data centre.

Many companies are still reliant on expensive and power-hungry data storage systems, which they are likely to struggle with as their data grows.

Some are still not even thinking about changing their current systems, for example 29% of European businesses have not even begun to discuss greening the data centre, and neither have a whopping 40% of US respondents.

Many businesses are also reluctant to encourage greener practices in their organisation with the implementation of a chief energy officer, someone to take responsibility for their energy efficiency.

Only 18% of respondents in Europe, and even less in the US showed any interest in this idea.

Fortunately some issues were shown to be effective incentives to encourage companies to consider a more energy efficient data centre.

One important issue is the cost and time involved in building another data centre. This was named as the most serious issue for driving the reduction of data infrastructure power consumption in their company by nearly a quarter of respondents in the US. 15% of European respondents agreed, but more considered a lack of energy available at the data centre location to be of highest importance.

The survey showed that one of the best incentives to go green is the prospect of saving money. Nearly 40% of US respondents reported that a 20%-50% saving in cost would encourage them to go green.

However, European companies are less likely than their US counterparts to make green policies contingent on cost savings, with over a third agreeing that a saving of up to 20% would be enough of an incentive.

This indicates that even though environmental issues are at the heart of green storage, the cost-saving benefits of newer, more energy efficient storage solutions is more likely to influence a company’s decision to update their systems and ‘green’ their data centre.

Bob Miller, ONStor CEO, comments “At ONStor, we have developed a greener data centre solution, the Pantera 5000, enabling lower energy consumption, a reduced footprint, and lower cooling costs. We hope that green solutions such as ours will help drive company chief executives and chief information officers to embrace green initiatives within their IT environment.”

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.