Businesses are fighting an uphill battle to contain and reduce power consumption in data centres.
Figures from IDC reveal the amount of energy they require is "climbing at a worrying speed" and rose by more than 13% between 2006 and 2007.
Underlining the extent of power usage, IDC reported that the amount of electricity required by servers in Western Europe in 2007 was almost twice that needed to power all street lighting and traffic signals in the UK. Data centre consumption levels were more than two and a half times higher at 40TWh.
Nathaniel Martinez, IDC programme director, European Enterprise Servers, revealed that as much as €4.4 billion was spent on powering data centres in Western Europe last year.
"Unless a drastic change in products and company practices occurs," he warned,"things will not get any better in the future. In 2012, we could face a scenario where for every Euro spent on buying new servers, more than €0.80 will be needed to power the existing data center infrastructure."
Martinez suggested businesses needed to "encourage a much tighter cooperation between facility management and the IT department, which, in most cases, still work without any coordination whatsoever".
Giorgio Nebuloni, research analyst with IDC European Systems and Infrastructure Solutions, added that the efforts of IT vendors to build energy-efficient components were "not enough to balance the rise of energy needs.
To contain them, organisations have to act on the infrastructure level, adopting best practices and redesigning their facility to improve cooling and power processes."