The likelihood is that 2013 will see ever greater business investment in infrastructure upgrades, as business focus on operational costs and their ever increasing energy bill. These are costs that seem to be heading in one direction only. As a result, the fear of having more red on the balance sheet will push green agendas to the fore, in a concerted effort s the year moves ahead to ensure the business is comfortably in the black!
According to Smith, the average legacy datacentre uses less than 30% of its energy draw to operate the IT infrastructure, "The rest of consumed by supporting functions, such as cooling, lighting and resilient power systems. Of the energy consumed, 99.9% iltimately is ejected from the datacentre as wasted heat."
Not a good situation - something really does have to give. Computer equipment manufacturers have pioneered new solutions such as virtualisation and microprocessor power-saving features, which have dramatically reduced the amount of IT equipment required to perform specific functions, he concedes, which are already bringing a significant reduction in IT-load power consumption.
HEAT LOAD CHALLENGES
"At the same time, however, the trend for higher density datacentres and dynamic software defined server/storage/network operation can signifcantly vary the power demand on a continuous basis," he points out. "This can cause problems for traditional cooling systems, which can't cope with the ever-changing heat load. The need for computing storage is also being driven upwards by the Big Data trend. As the amount of data being produced by companies increases, so, too, will the number of servers required to process and store it. More servers mean higher carbon emissions, increasing the need for effective off-setting procedures."
Not a promising picture for the future of green IT! Yet addressing this wastage is the challenge here, Smith states, and this can largely be achieved in five ways:
One of the many benefits of cloud computing is the ease of access to information. While this is good news for most, security managers have been burdened with a number of issues. Poorly designed cloud systems can have the side effect of making the wrong data available to the wrong groups or company outsiders, such as contractors or third party suppliers.
"A number of trends, set to grow significantly in 2013, will provide further security headaches for businesses," predicts Smith, such as the explosion of 'Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD). "Mobile technology is changing how businesses operate, creating new security challenges in the process," he adds.
"According to a survey by social media network Spiceworks, three out of five employees advised that they do not need to be in the office to remain as productive; 56% of EMEA SMBs support a BYOD initiative already, while SMBs with less than 20 employees are most likely to fully embrace BYOD, with nearly three-quarters highlighting an on-going initiative, heading into 2013."
The use of private devices means employees will be bringing external data into work and, more importantly, taking business information and documents out of the workplace, with the obvious risk of it getting into the wrong hands. The year ahead will be a challenging one, as organisations attempt to keep BYOD - now accelerating at an alarming rate - under control.
Then there is 'Big Data'. States Smith: "Ninety per cent of all stored data was created in the past two years, with record figures expected in 2013. Big data is a key factor behind Cisco's forecast that datacentre traffic will quadruple by 2016. However, for most companies, analysis of this data cannot be done in-house. In 2013, greater amounts of business information will be sent externally to private or even shared datacentres, requiring greater security measures to be put in place."
To read the full article see Green I.T (March Issue)