From a risk point of view, a greener data centre can be far more resilient – a virtual environment provides much greater capabilities for moving images around if there is any failure in one particular part of the platform. However, this will need specific tools – otherwise, the consolidation down to a much smaller number of physical devices can lead in the other direction – to where the failure of a single item can lead to extended downtime for a large part of the infrastructure. This can be the case where, for example, cooling is cut down to a single unit – if this fails, the data centre will have to be shut down. Resilience still needs equipment redundancy – but the equipment may not need to be turned on at all times.
Although “Green” has slid down the list of priorities throughout the recession, it has not disappeared completely. The advent of government driven green initiatives, such as the CRC EES in the UK, means that several thousand UK organisations are now having to monitor and measure their energy usage at a granular level in order to plan to maximise the financial gains (or minimise the financial losses) through their positions in the CRC league tables, writes Clive Longbottom.