There are many different facets to being green that require solutions. So, too, are there many different technology solutions looking for problems. Environmental concerns can be addressed by applying efficiency and optimization to operate more economically. Consider different technologies and approaches to using various tools in the context of the business problem or opportunity to be addressed. For example, although consolidation can bring great hardware and power, cooling, floor space and environmental health and safety (PCFE) savings, consider also the subsequent performance impact on business productivity as well as savings from reducing software footprint.
Look at technology adoption in the context of market or industry versus actual customer deployment. Density brings the benefits of a reduced physical footprint but also increased power, cooling, weight, and management footprints. Server or storage consolidation in general reduces the number of physical units to be managed, but server and storage virtualization in their current forms do not help to aggregate or consolidate the number of operating systems or application instances. Avoid simply moving problems from one area to another, for example, by solving a server-related problem that, in turn, causes a data storage, network, or backup problem.
In most IT data centers, as well as in the tech industry at large, the focus is on application servers to reduce electric power consumption and cooling demands. However, given the anticipated continued growth in the amount of data generated, processed, and stored for longer periods of time, the focus will shift to optimizing data storage and associated networking components in the data center. In order to power IT equipment in the future, you may not be able to assume that your energy provider will be able to supply you with adequate and reliable power in a cost-effective manner.
There are many different issues that require a balancing of resources. Manufacturers are enabling enterprise IT data centers of all sizes to address power, cooling, floor space, and associated environmental challenges with various technologies to balance the supply of available power, cooling, and floor space with demand-side needs of enabling business applications in a scalable, flexible, and resilient manner. The bottom line is that for most IT data centers there is no single silver bullet. However, when various technologies are combined and balanced with best practices, energy savings to support growth are achievable.
As more IT applications are virtualized, there will need to be an increase in the understanding of how to maximize, leverage, and manage infrastructure resources effectively, as opposed to simply throwing more hardware at a problem. Increase your awareness of applicable issues as well as what you can do today and tomorrow to support your specific needs. This includes educating yourself on the issues and alternative approaches and solutions as well as looking at power efficiency and effectiveness versus simply avoiding power usage.