Gartner: Modernize data centers or risk energy costs

Data center managers need to modernize their operations, or risk doubling their energy costs between 2005 and 2011, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Legacy data centers made in the last decade are essentially obsolete in terms of environmentally sustainable IT, according to Gartner. New, high-density, power-hungry equipment warrants more advanced power and cooling capabilities or costs will spiral, Rakesh Kumar, vice-president at Gartner warned.

"If we assume that data center energy costs continue to double every five years, they will have increased 1,600 percent between 2005 and 2025," he said.

But power efficiency alone cannot be the only factor in creating green data centers. Instead, firms must concentrate on factors such as waste management, asset management, technology architecture, capacity management, support services, energy sources and operations.

In this way, data centers. are evolving from being static into conceptual models of "living organisms", driven by power and cooling, where modelling and measuring tools will become major elements of its management, according to Kumar.

Kumar likened the data center to a human heart: "When you are running a marathon, the heart is pounding and needs to be working to 100 percent capacity, but it also needs time to slow down and relax," he said. "Similarly the data center needs to be working to full capacity at times, whilst it must respond to quieter periods too."