A Tale of Two Data Center Industries?

greendcYou’ve probably heard it many times before: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” The benefits of monitoring energy usage in the data center are well-established, and have been highlighted at virtually every industry event for the past two years. So why are so many companies still not monitoring their facilities and using one of the emerging data center metrics to track their progress?

Christian Belady of Microsoft discusses this question today at the MS DataCenters blog, picking up on some Gartner data we reported last week. Christian has been actively involved in industry conversations on efficiency, and has some thoughts about the low numbers for adoption of data center metrics.

“Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that maybe the respondents should have been weighted by their relative data center sizes,” he writes. “I would argue that any company where a bulk of their costs are driven by their IT operations (which by the way are likely to be huge operations such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Ebay, Amazon, Google, etc.) are further to the left on the graph because it has such a large impact on profitability. Similarly, those who have either small operations or their IT costs are low relative to other costs are further to the right. So in essence, we have a polarization of the data center industry: the Leftists and the Rightists.”

Will this split continue if carbon regulation alters the price of energy and the cost of inefficiency? Read The Polarization of the Data Center Industry for more.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Rex

    Good observation. I fall into the Rightists category. I'm designing a new, 60 KW data center, but I'm under intense pressure to reduce both capital and operational costs. For various reasons, I've had two years to work on this design. As I've researched alternatives, I've found a lot of self-serving misinformation spread mostly by vendors who want to sell you their overpriced "solutions". Instead, I've been looking at the design patterns of very large data center operators like Amazon, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Sun, and trying to scale those down. Providing better guidance to small data center operators and designers could dramatically improve efficiency without risking downtime, usually at lower cost than following traditional designs or listening to sales people. Unfortunately, nobody has the incentive or authority to make those recommendations.