The Business Value of Green Data Centers

This white paper presents IDC’s findings on both the green and the business dividends that consolidation via virtualization delivers.

Kevin Normandeau

November 19, 2009

2 Min Read
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Today, policy and business leaders are reaching a consensus that industry must address rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly in the data center. Leading enterprises are now turning to the practical challenge of determining how, how much, and at what cost to reduce emissions. In a recent white paper from IDC many companies are learning that their data center offers a means to both abate GHG and reduce costs with the right incremental capital investments.

The process of improving information technology and data center efficiency not only reduces GHG emissions but also reduces cost for the enterprise. This means that the savings or business value derived from improvements far outstrips the incremental capital costs of "greening" the datacenter. Green IT means business improvement. Firms that rank highest among the "Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World," such as Amazon, Toyota, and Nike, have realized that focusing on limiting energy calories in the datacenter and elsewhere pays profitability dividends on the financial side. IDC research indicates that companies reducing their metric tons of carbon per datacenter workload by a factor of 55% also incurred 35% less cost per user session on a server.

Evidence from IDC's Business Value research indicates that efforts to reduce energy use do help companies save money and improve IT service levels. Datacenter energy efficiency improvements such as consolidation through virtualization have delivered strong value for businesses, helping them not only reduce energy use but also reduce server costs per user by almost 40%. In addition to allowing firms to decrease the number of servers they need by over 50% - providing attractive "consolidation" savings - virtualization as a green solution reduces energy consumption and GHG emissions and also provides companies with the means to avoid application shutdowns when and if servers fail, reducing server outage hours per year by over 35%. Virtualization eases the backup process, which in turn allows IT staff to back up more databases. This then results in more applications with restart and recovery capabilities. In fact, all of these goals interrelate and correlate.

This white paper presents IDC’s findings on both the green and the business dividends that consolidation via virtualization delivers. The second part presents a view of more advanced green and business value solutions, including more efficient power and cooling solutions. Click here to down load this white paper.

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