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Global 2000 Struggle To Adopt ‘Green’ Data Centres

Symantec Study Reveals Global 2000 Struggle To Adopt ‘Green’ Data Centres

Server consolidation, virtualisation are key factors in “going green”

Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced the findings of its worldwide Green Data Centre report, a supplement to the company’s recently released 2007 State of the Data Centre study. Nearly three-quarters of respondents state they have interest in adopting a strategic green data centre initiative; however, only one in seven have been successful at implementing a green data centre, illustrating a stark contrast between interest and execution. For the purpose of this study, we define a green data centre as having increased efficiencies in energy usage, power consumption, space utilisation and reduction of polluting energy sources.

“Data centre managers are running out of space and energy costs are skyrocketing, so they are motivated to ‘green’ the data centre for cost reduction and efficiency purposes,” said Mark Bregman, executive vice president, chief technology officer, Symantec. “The report findings indicate that cost savings and constant business pressure to maintain performance and meet increasingly aggressive service level agreements are the main reasons for implementing many green strategies. For them it is beyond environmental concerns – it is about meeting business goals and reducing costs.”

Participants noted that while energy efficiency is a priority, it must be balanced by business needs. The increasing emphasis on creating energy efficiencies has added another layer of complexity in managing today’s data centre. To better manage and reduce costs, the study finds that many data centre professionals are increasingly turning to software solutions, including those to manage server consolidation and virtualised environments as they develop and implement their green initiatives.

Software is a Top Strategy for Creating Energy Efficiencies

Data centre managers indicate that software designed for server consolidation and server virtualisation are the most popular solutions in creating energy efficiencies, with 51 and 47 percent indicating plans to consolidate and virtualise servers respectively. In fact, 68 percent of respondents indicate that reducing energy played a role in their decision to implement virtualisation and server consolidation. In addition to server consolidation and virtualisation, those who implement a green data centre strategy are more likely to use software for storage resource management, server management and data deduplication.

Respondents also revealed that most data centre managers are at least planning to implement power management products, with 30 percent implementing on selected equipment, 13 percent on equipment throughout the data centre, and 34 percent either planning to use or currently evaluating.

Hardware-Based Solutions Still Key

In addition to server virtualisation and consolidation, energy efficient CPUs were the second most popular technology for data centre power reduction, with 28 percent of respondents citing this as one of the two technologies they think will reduce power consumption.

The following were also described as possible solutions that respondents either plan to implement, or are currently implementing: replacing old equipment with more energy-efficient equipment (44 percent), recycling obsolete hardware components (39 percent), monitoring power consumption (38 percent), and reducing the space used by servers (37 percent).

Worldwide Adoption Varies

Slightly more than a third of companies based in the United States (U.S.) said they have corporate green policies, while almost 60 percent of companies from Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) and 55 percent of European companies have them. According to the research, companies from Canada, China, Germany, India, Mexico and South Korea are more likely to have green data centre policies than not. Regionally, organisations with larger data centre budgets implement green data centre strategies more frequently than those with smaller budgets.

Server consolidation and virtualisation implementations are more prevalent in U.S. based companies and surpass implementations in other parts of the world. In contrast, while there are fewer APJ organisations currently implementing consolidation/virtualisation strategies in their data centres, the majority of IT managers (88 percent) from this region who do, cite energy consumption and energy reduction as the primary reason.

About Symantec’s State of the Data Centre and Green Data Centre Research

Symantec’s State of the Data Centre report is the result of quantitative and qualitative research conducted in September 2007 by Ziff Davis Enterprise, who surveyed data centre managers in Global 2000 and large public sector institutions. The Green Data Centre report is a companion study specifically focusing on energy efficiency issues in the data centre. The two-pronged study includes an online survey fielded in 14 countries, in-person focus groups in Hong Kong, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo, one-on-one telephone interviews in Mumbai and Singapore, and a teleconference focus group in Canada. A total of 77 data centre managers participated in focus groups and telephone interviews, while 800 data centre managers completed the online survey.

Symantec helps data centres managers to reduce energy consumption and increase space utilisation by providing solutions that increase server and storage efficiencies. Veritas Data Centre Software from Symantec enables IT organisations to undertake server and storage consolidation and utilisation initiatives while providing a software infrastructure that enables data centre managers to select the server and hardware of their choice. By increasing storage utilisation and by helping customers with storage-tiering to reduce the need for power-hungry premium storage hardware, this software helps organisations reduce power consumption and floor space. Additionally, data deduplication technology can reduce the disk-based requirements for backup, while other software helps to manage server consolidation and storage resources. Additional software provided by Symantec enables IT professionals to better control desktops energy usage by enabling power-down settings. In addition, Symantec offers services to help companies run their data centres more efficiently both during the data centre planning stage and in mature data centres.

About Symantec

Symantec is a global leader in infrastructure software, enabling businesses and consumers to have confidence in a connected world. The company helps customers protect their infrastructure, information and interactions by delivering software and services that address risks to security, availability, compliance and performance. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at


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