Cooling costs may wipe out server savings


Cooling costs may wipe out server savings

John-Paul Kamath

Higher power and cooling costs could negate the financial advantages of cramming more servers into datacentres unless firms improve the monitoring of their energy overheads, Gartner has warned.

Rakesh Kumar, research vice-president at the analyst firm, said IT managers should monitor the number of blade servers they are adding in datacentres to make sure gains in processing power are not being offset by increases in energy and cooling costs.

Powering and cooling account for between 4% and 7% of IT budgets, but this is expected to double by 2012 as businesses require more processing power per square foot from their datacentres.

"There are no metrics to compare how much more energy efficient one datacentre is than another, but managers need to get a stake in the ground about how much energy consumption is rising in line with the processing power they are adding," Kumar said.

Reducing energy costs through virtualisation and consolidating the number of datacentres is only effective if managers can predict by how much this will increase power and cooling costs, he said.

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