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“Green” data centers market to skyrocket by 2016

Modern governments and companies depend on data centers housing thousands of servers to run applications, provide information, facilitate communication and carry out a wide range of processes.

This demand for data center capacity has resulted in a sharp rise in information technology costs and a constant increase in the sectors carbon emissions. The combination of soaring energy costs, surging computing power demand, environmental concerns, and economic pressure is driving a global demand for “green data centers”.

The global “green data centers” market will climb from $17.1 billion in 2012 to $45.4 billion by 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of about 28 percent, analyst Pike Research forecasted.

Significantly, the Asia Pacific region will have the highest increase in revenue through 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 30 percent between 2011 and 2016. Europe and North America, on the other hand, will have a revenue growth by over 10 percent. The growth of this segment will be ushered by two prevailing trends in the I.T. industry, shaping the development of date centers. These are virtualization and cloud computing.

Pike Research described virtualization as the innovation that has the major impact on the evolution of the modern data center and one of the key steps to advance the energy efficiency in data center.

Virtualization alone may not lead to generation of energy savings, but when it is combined with the other components of data center infrastructure, “more dynamic and higher-density computing environments” can be achieved.

Meanwhile, cloud computing or the use of computing resources that are delivered as a service over a network such as the Internet, is identified to have many efficiency advantages. However, “new metrics and new levels of transparency are required if its impact on the environment is to be adequately assessed,” the report suggested.

The report stressed that energy efficiency of data center has to be further improved to tackle high energy costs and carbon emissions. Moreover, data center has to be more dynamic as it adapts to new business needs and technology opportunities.

“There is no single technology or design model that makes a data center green. 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 I.T. and business, and changes in the data center supply chain,” according to research director Eric Woods.

To date, among the prominent companies that are taking on green data centers are the world’s largest social network Facebook and retail giant eBay. Facebook said 23 percent of its data centers’ energy comes from clean and renewable sources, while eBay is well on its way to build its 6-megawatt flagship green data center in Utah. – EcoSeed Staff

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