Companies Slow to Adopt ‘Greener’ IT Infrastructure

While there is growing awareness of the need to adopt more environmentally friendly or ‘green’ IT practices, many companies are being slow in actively pursuing this path, according to the latest survey on IT infrastructure from PMP Research. The research has been commissioned by the Evaluation Centre.

Over a quarter of those polled (26%) say their company is showing little or no activity in making their IT infrastructure ‘greener’.

This compares to 16% who are ‘very actively’ and 14% who are ‘actively’ pursuing environmental measures. The bulk, 40%, are just seen as ‘moderately active’ in this area.

Organisations are hitting problems with their physical data centre environment as they try to re-engineer their IT infrastructure. The key constraints are lack of available space for new infrastructure, cited by 44% of respondents, coupled with a shortage of power capacity, mentioned by 38%. In some cases (16%) this is preventing the latest high-density computing technology being deployed.

The need to reduce heating and cooling requirements is also an issue for 40% of respondents, while 22% mention the high cost of real estate as being a limiting factor.

The return to a more centralised IT environment is gaining momentum, with 34% of companies already having a fully centralised IT environment, a further 48% moving in this direction and another 8% planning to do so. The key drivers are to save costs, improve efficiency and provide a more secure environment.

This trend towards centralisation goes hand-in-hand with reducing processing power on the desktop and consolidating application delivery from within the data centre. From the sample, 12% of companies have already cut desktop processing power, with a further 14% planning to do so and 26% evaluating the option.

One of the drivers for this is ‘thin-client’ technology, which has been steadily gaining popularity as applications can be managed more cost-effectively and securely from a central location. Only a few companies, 4%, have so far implemented it across the whole organisation but half are using it in some parts of the business. A further 8% plan to deploy ‘thin-client’ with another 8% evaluating its use.

Demonstrating the need to trim costs and simplify the IT infrastructure, 82%, of companies are currently consolidating the number of servers they use. This is an ongoing process with no-one saying they have completed this operation. Only 18% of organisations are not engaged in any form of server rationalisation.

Virtualisation technology is providing much of the impetus for this trend, as companies can now easily consolidate multiple applications onto a single large server, rather than have them spread across several smaller ones. Its adoption is growing dramatically and shows no sign of slackening. Of the companies interviewed 38% are currently using this technology, 20% plan to and a further 24% are evaluating its use. Only 4% have no plans to move in this direction.