Green Grid: Companies aren't monitoring data centre energy

Green energy

The push to go green in the data centre is gaining momentum but it seems many companies aren't even performing the simple task of monitoring what energy they use.

This was the conclusion drawn by Roger Tipley, senior engineering strategist for HP and vice president of The Green Grid, who told IT PRO in an interview today that energy was still not being monitored by everyone.

"If you don't measure then you can't improve [but] they still don't," he said.

"They may not separate the data centre's [energy consumption] from the rest of the building and so although they may have the bill for the entire facility they have to guess how much the data centre is using."

However, he does believe once people begin to see how much their power and cooling is costing them, they will make improvements.

"When you start seeing where money is flowing, you might change it," he added.

The Green Grid is working on getting more companies on board with not only monitoring how their data centre performs but putting in good practices and giving them tools to increase their efficiency and cut carbon emissions too.

Tipley did not underestimate the magnitude of the task and acknowledged that the industry was "conservative" and not always willing to make the change. However, he said the cost benefits, rather than the green issues, will get more companies involved.

"When asked when do you make a change, the response from companies tends to be when there is a phone call," he said.

"If there are no complaints then there is no change [and] no customers are going to complain about energy."

He added: "It is money issues that drive it for them," he concluded, "but the secondary effect is to paint the companies in a good light by going green."

The Green Grid currently has just under 200 members including big players like Google and Microsoft. For those who aren't members though there is lots of information on its website to help companies go green in their data centres.

It is also going to be releasing a design guide for building data centres early next year to help make those green improvements from day one.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.