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Going Green & the Economic Downturn

Will the focus on cost cutting slow efforts to go green in the data center? It shouldn't

Efforts to go green in the data center may become another casualty of the worldwide economic problems and the relentless focus on cutting costs. Many companies in the past year or two have launched programs and initiatives to reduce power consumption and their carbon footprint and reclaim floor space. But some of those efforts appear to be at risk. Companies need to better understand that going green saves money.

We intend to help with that by publishing a series of articles by Greg Schulz, a respected industry analyst and founder of consulting firm StorageIO. Schulz, who has extensive experience in enterprise IT departments and working with tech vendors, has recently published a book called The Green and Virtual Data Center, in which he provides strategies and blueprints for deploying energy saving and environmentally friendly technologies and tactics for next-generation data centers. The first of his articles appears this week.

Schulz argues in his book and in the articles that will appear on Byte and Switch that investments in maximizing resources such as power, cooling, storage and server performance, floor space, and network capacity will pay dividends for companies in the long run. He takes a practical approach and discusses the tradeoffs that enterprises need to consider as they implement storage and server virtualization initiatives or energy efficiency programs so they can ensure that business-critical applications still perform as needed.

A clear argument for the benefits of a green approach is needed now more than ever. There has been so much hype and propaganda around the word "green" that many are no longer sure what it really means or whether it really is worth the trouble.

"Can't I just plant a couple of trees and stop worrying about all this green stuff? I'm too busy trying to save money!" That attitude seems to be more common these days. And it is starting to show up in new research and surveys of IT managers, who feel increasing pressure to reduce spending and cut costs. Just last week, the results of a survey of attendees at Data Centre World in London revealed that only one in eight data center managers cited a desire to go green as the key reason for implementing energy savings solutions, down from one in three a year earlier.

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