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The Greening of the Data Center

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Environment, FacilityBlog, FM Alert, Sustainability, Topics

Tagged: , , , , ,

Published on June 09, 2009 with 4 Comments

The Obama administration’s economic recovery package includes commitments to work towards a sustainable, energy efficient future. With the world’s servers currently consuming some 408 MWh of electricity, the effort is certainly needed. In fact, it has been under way for some time in some of the United States’ large data centers.

“Cisco, HP, and Dell have all taken significant steps to reduce power consumption in the data centers they operate,” says ABI Research Vice President and Practice Director Stan Schatt. “Cisco has emphasized virtualization; HP is utilizing some unique server technologies in order to reduce power requirements; and Dell has set benchmarks for restricted energy use in its own operations, setting itself up as a role model in this field.”

Photo: IBMWhether any recovery plan funding will target data centers is unknown, but, notes Schatt, “There is likely to be greater emphasis on ‘greening’ the data centers used by government.”

Another likely area for improvement is the health care industry. Part of the funding in the stimulus package is targeted to medical records computerization. That will involve data centers—not just software, but modifications to the equipment itself—providing an opportunity for these vendors to help move the health care industry towards a greener future.

“The problem right now is liquidity,” Schatt cautions. “With credit so tight, how will companies finance the replacement of equipment?” Cisco has one answer: finance provided through its Cisco Capital subsidiary. “Cisco Capital provides Cisco Systems with a strategic opportunity in the data center market, making money available to companies that want to reduce their energy consumption immediately.”

ABI Research’s recent study, “Green Wi-Fi, Data Centers, and Network Switches” provides a comprehensive evaluation of the efforts of vendors to offer “green” Wi-Fi equipment, data center equipment, and network switches. It rates vendors’ products and initiatives, and assesses equipment environmental performance. The report forms part of the firm’s Wi-Fi Research Service.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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There are currently 4 Comments on The Greening of the Data Center. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Greening the data center? This is sort of like civilizing a Philadelphia Eagles fan!

  2. Heidi Schwartz

    I believe this is from IBM.

  3. I believe IBM owns that photo as well. I’m not sure how these guys got it.

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