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Symantec: Most data centers are a green tease

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The majority of data center operators say they're concerned about power consumption, but when it comes to actually implementing a plan, they haven't the energy.

Symantec's latest pollster thermometer prodded 800 data center professionals in a worldwide survey about energy efficiency woes.

The firm says 85 per cent of respondents indicated energy efficiency is at least a moderate priority, with 15.5 per cent citing it as a critical concern.

About 71 per cent said they are considering a "green strategy" to implement, while only 14 per cent have started to do something about it. That's just about in line with the amount of folks who said the energy bill is a nail-biter.

The most popular way to wane watts appears to be server consolidation. Out of those interested in obtaining a green hue, 51 per cent said they were either working with or planning to implement server consolidation in their data centers. Server virtualization came next with 47 per cent of respondents checking the option. (A fair question: what's the difference? Symantec defined consolidation as replacing multiple servers with fewer, but larger systems — not necessarily using virtualization software.)

Replacing old equipment with energy-efficient gear tickled the fancy of 44 per cent of respondents. About 38 per cent were satisfied with "monitoring power consumption carefully", while 29 per cent are implementing a "lights out" policy.

The least popular method to green? That would be "installing catalytic converters on backup generators", with a meager seven per cent and "using heat pumps to shift heat" with eight per cent. In defense, those do sound pretty boring. The average number of green strategies being pondered was about four.

For respondents implementing some form of consolidation, about 68 per cent said that energy consumption played as a reason to consolidate or virtualize. Only 10 per cent said that power was the most important reason for it, while 22 per cent said energy consumption wasn't a factor in the strategy.

The report was done in September by Ziff Davis Enterprise and sponsored by Symantec. The poll was fielded in 14 countries by an online survey, focus groups and telephone interviews of data center managers. ®

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