The energy, space and technology problems currently facing data centre managers are set to worsen in 2010, according to Gartner. These issues will continue to plague users in 2010, and data centre and IT managers need to find pragmatic ways in which to deal with them.

“Energy costs are the fastest-rising cost element in the data-centre portfolio, and yet data-centre managers are still not paying sufficient attention to the process of measuring, monitoring and modelling energy use in data centres,” says Rakesh Kumar, research vice-president at Gartner. “They need to realise that removing a single x86 server from a data centre will result in savings of more than $400 a year in energy costs alone.”
Gartner has identified the critical questions that managers need to focus on in order to overcome the challenges they face:
* Is there a standardised way to break down my data centre costs? There is no single, standardised method to account for data centre costs. Gartner advises users to define a chart of accounts that specifies all the cost elements that constitute the overall cost and the key portfolios or categories that are part of that cost.
* Do you have any pragmatic tips for helping me to cut my data centre costs? Gartner has several suggestions: rationalise the hardware; consolidate data-centre sites; manage energy and facilities costs; manage the people costs; and sweat the assets.
* Should I start measuring the energy efficiency of my data centre? Energy management can be effective only through advanced monitoring, modelling and measuring techniques and processes. Metrics form the bedrock for internal cost and efficiency programmes and Gartner urges data-centre managers and IT organisations to make this area a high priority, which will be essential for the adoption of so many new technologies and adherence to government policies.
* What are the pitfalls of refurbishing my data centre? These can be categorised as location of the current data centre, life span of a refurbished data centre and the structural work needed.