IT directors will face increasing problems in deploying server-based applications in datacentres unless they address the growing problem of energy shortages, according to analyst group Gartner.
The analysts warned, "During the next three years, most CIOs will experience constraints in datacentre floor space and power that could limit an IT organisation's ability to grow as the business grows."
Gartner vice-president Rakesh Kumar said that unless the IT industry and users addressed this issue, in five or six years there could be insufficient electricity supplies to power UK datacentres.
Tomorrow (6 September), the British Institute of Facilities Management Datacentre Networking Group is due to meet to discuss the problem. The meeting will be attended by about 80 IT directors and building services managers, including representatives from major banks and utilities.
On top of datacentre cooling and power requirements, building infrastructure plays a significant role, according to Tim Smith, a consultant at advisory firm Energyfactor, who is giving a presentation at the meeting.
"The biggest consumer of electricity in a datacentre is the water cooling pumps, followed by UPS [uninterruptible power supply] systems," he said.
Smith suggested some simple ways that datacentre managers could improve energy efficiency, such as fitting variable speed drives to chiller pumps and partitioning the part of the building where the UPS systems are located so that they can be cooled using normal ventilation systems.
In the US, the growing energy problem in datacentres is so acute that the Environmental Protection Agency has been asked to identify the potential energy and cost savings to the federal government and private businesses that the purchase of energy efficient servers would offer.
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