New report shows IT decision makers rank energy efficiency behind security, performance and connectivity in list of concerns

Green tech producer Supermicro has released its first annual “Data Centers and the Environment” report. The report, based on responses from 361 IT decision makers, reveals there is a worrying lack of urgency from data centre users to reduce their environmental footprints.

Although IT managers are increasingly adopting or developing policies to address environmental issues (58 percent), almost half (48 percent) have yet to adopt one and almost a quarter (22 percent) have no intention of developing one in the future.

Respondents cite high costs, lack of resources and understanding as key factors preventing them from implementing environmental policies. Perhaps most frustratingly, the report reveals there is still a residual section of the industry with no awareness of their environmental responsibilities: 14 percent stated that environmental issues are not a priority.

Supermicro says IT managers are failing to quantify the environmental impact their data centres have on the environment and are unaware of basic strategies that can reduce their environmental footprint.

50 percent of those asked did not know their Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). PUE – the ratio of total energy used by a data centre facility to the energy delivered to the IT equipment – is becoming one of the most popular metrics to calculate efficient energy usage.  For those that are measuring PUE, 22 percent have an average PUE of 2.0 or higher, and six percent are in the “ideal” average range between 1.0 and 1.19.

Whatsmore 12 percent do not recycle their outdated systems, even though doing so can reduce OPEX and CAPEX, adding to the global stockpile of e-Waste in landfills. The report notes that an estimated 20 to 50 million metric tonnes of e-Waste is disposed of globally every year, depositing heavy metals and other hazardous waste into landfills.

Data Center Energy Usage and PUE Measurement

“The findings of this new research report should help start the conversation in the IT industry on the impact of data centres on the environment,” said Charles Liang, president and CEO of Supermicro.

“As a hardware solution company, we are investing heavily in our Resource-Saving server, accelerator and storage solutions, including the development of 10-year lifecycle chassis, power supplies, fans and other subsystems, to help end-customers save both energy cost and hardware acquisition costs while reducing IT waste.”