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Data centre managers under pressure to cut energy costs, says BCS

Datacentre managers face a growing dilemma as businesses put pressure on them to deliver more computing power while also asking them to reduce rising IT energy costs, the British Computer Society has said.

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Datacentre managers face a growing dilemma as businesses put pressure on them to deliver more computing power while also asking them to reduce rising IT energy costs, the British Computer Society has said.

Zahl Limbuwala, chairman of the BCS's datacentre division, said that IT managers are increasingly being caught 'between a rock and a hard place' as the power consumption of servers rise along with businesses demand for processing.

"At the same time, datacentre managers are working against constraints such as the need to offset carbon emissions as a result of green IT strategies, rising power costs and the local availability of grid power," he said.

A worldwide survey of 3,300 datacentre managers revealed at this week's Datacentre Dynamics Conference confirmed the dilemma. Managers ranked keeping datacentres running as their number one priority, but this was followed by reducing costs through energy efficency as their next objective.

Approximately 80% of managers said they could not forecast if their datacentre would be able to deliver the required electricity to servers in line with the business demand for more processing power.

To better negotiate with managers, Limbuwala said datacentre staff had to begin measuring energy efficency in datacentres. This would allow datacentre managers to forecast how a likely rise in transactions from the business would be met by the datacentre. This in turn could allow datacentre managers to better explain rises in energy costs during budget reviews and planning.

"Datacentre managers must begin measuring the IT energy costs of delivering business services. You can't manage what you can't measure," he said.

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