CIOs lack the "green" to go green, survey says

Over three quarters of IT execs do not have a green budget, despite belief that going green will bring a competitive advantage.

CIOs and senior IT executives lack the "green" to go green even though they overwhelmingly believe that a more energy efficient data center will become mission-critical, according to a recent survey.

Seventy-six percent of executives queried do not have a committed budget for a greening policy, even though 90 percent believe that greening their data centers will be crucial to meeting their companies' business objectives in 2009, according to the survey conducted by Voltaire, a maker of server and storage switching and software products for grid computing.

In addition, 57 percent said they believe going green will give their company a competitive advantage, the Voltaire study found.

Voltaire queried CIOs, CTOs, and senior IT executives who attended the 2008 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. Voltaire says a Fortune 500 company with five data centers worldwide and 3,000 servers per data center can save approximately US$7.4 million per year.

The study also found that 43 percent of respondents will implement a green data center in the next two years, and that reducing power and cooling costs/requirements was ranked by 52 percent of the respondents as the most important benefit gained by going green in the data center.

The next most important benefit was helping the environment (37 percent), followed by increased utilization (32 percent), reducing real estate/space requirements (28 percent), and reducing/consolidating equipment needed (27 percent). Among the respondents who said that going green gives their companies a competitive advantage, 72 percent said it provides a more efficient and cost-effective infrastructure so they can invest more in new technologies.

In response to the survey findings, Voltaire says it developed a "50-50-300 Pledge," which states that IT executives, working with the company to deploy a Voltaire InfiniBand-based unified fabric, can save 50 percent on power/cooling related to server interconnections and 50 percent on hardware allocation/usage, while delivering up to a 300 percent increase in application performance. Voltaire has also developed an efficiency calculator to help IT executives estimate their network energy and cost savings and justify the investment.

Unified fabrics provide networking services between InfiniBand, Fibre Channel storage-area networks and Ethernet LANs over a single fabric with multiple virtual interfaces replacing actual physical adapters. By merging all three traffic types within a single switching chassis, IT executives can reduce power consumption by consolidating and virtualizing their data center interconnects, Voltaire says.

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