The combination of rising energy costs, increasing demand for computing power, environmental concerns, and economic pressure has made the green data center a focal point for the transformation of the IT industry as a whole. According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the worldwide market for green data centers will grow from $17.1 billion in 2012 to $45.4 billion by 2016 – at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 28 percent.
“There is no single technology or design model that makes a data center green,” says research director Eric Woods. “In fact, the green data center is connected to the broader transformation that data centers are undergoing—a transformation that encompasses technical innovation, operational improvements, new design principles, changes to the relationship between IT and business, and changes in the data center supply chain.”
In particular, two powerful trends in IT are shaping the evolution of data centers, Woods adds: virtualization and cloud computing. Virtualization, the innovation with the greatest impact on the shape of the modern data center, is also recognized as one of the most effective steps toward improving energy efficiency in the data center. In itself, however, virtualization may not lead to reduced energy costs. To gain the maximum benefits from virtualization, other components of the data center infrastructure will need to be optimized to support more dynamic and higher-density computing environments. Cloud computing, meanwhile, has many efficiency advantages, but new metrics and new levels of transparency are required if its impact on the environment is to be adequately assessed, the report finds.
The report, “Green Data Centers”, explores global green data center trends with regional forecasts for market size and opportunities through 2016. The report examines the impacts of global economic and political factors on regional data center growth, along with newly adopted developments in power and cooling infrastructure, servers, storage, and data center infrastructure management software tools across the industry. The research study profiles key industry players and their strategies for expansion and technology adoption. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.