Trend #3: Environmental Controls and Energy Costs – Carbon Footprint Issues
Most companies put the bottom line costs and the related strategic planning regarding power and environmental controls costs at the same level in the decision tree as to planning for what kind of candy to put out on the front desk of the reception area. 7-10 years ago one could assume that electrical power and environmental controls were cheap and endlessly available. They didn’t affect the bottom line much at all.
A chain of events over the past few years have influenced those thoughts and changed the priority dramatically:
- The increasing need of doing everything digital and the increase in computing power now required to do business, as shown in Trend #2, means that every company is using more power, by implementing more powerful computers, as their computing requirements and related processes expand.
- The increased need for proper server room environmental controls goes hand in hand with the extra computing power requirements. Todays’ computers, though smaller and far more capable of those 10 years ago, also put out 3-4 times the heat – it takes larger air conditioners to cool that same computer room down, and they are not cheap.
- The reality about the availability of reliable power was tested heavily during the California power issues a few years ago – rolling blackouts wreaked havoc among technology consultants and support teams. This caused companies to consider whether they should look for ways to be less power dependent.
- As a result of the power problems in California and a Utility’s bankruptcy, the cost for power in California have skyrocketed. Power is far more a significant part of every company’s budget, in fact, for many of those same companies mentioned earlier; electricity now ranks as one of the top five costs in their operating budgets.
The cost of running computers and their inherent low utilization rates gives way to virtualization reducing the total number of physical servers being implemented regularly. This can directly result in significantly reducing the overall cost of energy for companies. Less hardware, less power need, and less heat generation all result in also needing smaller sized environmental controls (air conditioning and related systems).
Again – virtualization helps companies improve the bottom line at many levels.