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Chapter 2. The Basics of Green IT > Organizational Issues in Addressing the Pro...

Organizational Issues in Addressing the Problem

Organization is one of the first issues to address for green IT. The organization issue usually starts with who manages and controls the IT power bill. Often, the CIO doesn’t pay the electricity bill, and the power cost for a data center is allocated to the different groups in the building based on square footage. That’s a good deal for the data center group, but it doesn’t provide motivation to reduce energy use in the data center. We know that the cost of powering and cooling the data center and communications closets is escalating. In early 2008, Gartner correctly predicted that by 2009, power and cooling costs would be second only to salaries in many IT budgets. This issue on the IT power bill does not try to solve the climate change problems. It is focused directly on the energy conservation solutions now available and their impact on the enterprise bottom line. The Uptime Institute is a research-based academic group founded to serve data center owners/operators and senior facilities engineers across the U.S., searching for leading practices for data center facilities and infrastructure systems design, engineering, and operations.

The organization measures the energy waste in data centers resulting from power supply, distribution, and cooling. According to Institute data gathered from the 85 large-scale corporate members in its network, it takes 2.5 watts at the building’s electricity meter to deliver 1.0 watt to the compute load. So, where are the other 1.5 watts going? According to an Institute white paper, many solutions that can improve energy efficiency by 25 percent to 50 percent are technically feasible today with little or no new capital expense. The problem is that performance measures for data center staff are related to uptime and software integration/enhancement projects: There is no sizeable upside for their professional careers in data center energy efficiency. That’s because the largest stakeholders on energy efficiency, the CFO and the CIO, aren’t usually part of the strategic conversation. For example, although fluid cooling rather than air conditioning reduces cooling requirements by approximately 60 percent to 70 percent, most CIOs are not ready to spend their operations budget on the investment; to them, it just doesn’t seem as critical as other budget items related to business applications growth.


  

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