Data centre innovation held back by finance and procurement

When it comes to improving data centre efficiency, more than two thirds (67%) of IT professionals lack the freedom to choose innovative ‘best of breed’ technologies over ‘one stop shop’ solutions, according to a poll by data centre power specialist Enlogic.

Conducted during a panel discussion at DatacenterDynamics Converged London (Optimisation: innovation, technology and investment considerations for energy efficiency), the poll revealed that more than half (53%) feel that finance heads represent the greatest barrier to freedom of choice; with a third (31%) considering procurement to present the next biggest challenge.

Fewer respondents felt the obstacle came from IT or facilities management (9% and 3% respectively), with only 3.1% of IT professionals saying that no barriers exist.

> See also: Trends in data centre sustainability

During the panel debate, the discussion turned toward the perceived risk of purchasing ‘best of breed’ solutions in favour of ‘one stop shop’ technologies. One panellist commented that ‘no one gets fired for buying IBM,’ with others arguing that ‘best of breed’ technologies tend to be more expensive.

Enlogic urges all stakeholders to fully evaluate and assess the total cost of ownership and operating cost over the lifespan of the product.

‘Innovation is rife in the data centre industry,’ said Eddie Desouza, global marketing and communications director, Enlogic. ‘There are some incredible breakthroughs taking place that organisations should be embracing with open arms.

‘Aspirations are clearly being pinned back by finance and procurement teams that no doubt see ‘one-stop-shops’ as a safer, easier, option. More needs to be done by the industry as a whole to communicate the benefits – and ROI – of new technologies so that finance and procurement become a supporting force behind new investments.’

‘Data centre efficiency is an enormous headache for data centre professionals,’ says Ed Ansett, managing partner of i3 Solutions Group.

‘Along with downtime, it’s what keeps them up at night. Knowing that there are ‘best of breed’ solutions available to address them – but that they’re not an option – must be incredibly frustrating for many professionals. Having the opportunity to adopt new solutions that will help organisations make strides towards energy efficiency should be open to everyone.’

Energy prices are set to rise. Demands on IT are increasing all the time. And there is mounting pressure from governments to meet energy targets. Some would say the data centre industry is facing an energy crisis. Given the current state of affairs, no-one can afford to ignore the opportunity to cut the data centre energy bill.

Enlogic exists to draw awareness to the rack and more specifically the PDU to make significant energy savings, providing that small things can make a big difference. It is better to accurately measure energy consumption and proactively ensure operating efficiency. This creates a new freedom to explore technologies that optimise server performance. 

There is also an argument for increasing the temperature in the data centre by one degree without compromising reliability.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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