A great start
From both a business and technical perspective, the EU’s code of practice is a very good start. From a business planning view, however this is a warning that the politicians may look to sharpen their pens, preparing to legislate or further regulate or tax poor data centre efficiency. The days of installing excess capacity and running empty servers ‘just in case’ are long gone. IT professionals need to heed the message and begin benchmarking data centre efficiency. Firstly they should be looking at the DCiE (Data Centre infrastructure Efficiency) as recommended in the EU code. This should then be extended, thinking in terms of linking to other business metrics that allow expression of data centre usage, cost and efficiency in terms of the contribution to the organisation. Measuring profit per petaflop may be going too far, but establishing a direct link to computing costs in cash and environmental cost terms is a powerful tool.
Having such figures will help IT departments provide senior management, as well as auditing bodies, with quantifiable and demonstrable cost savings – and of course environmental benefits that can be achieved by investing in new, or optimising existing, data centre infrastructures. Gathering accurate data is no simple task: there are a huge range of potential factors to take into account. However only once business management have actionable data on which to base their decisions on, will we really start to see improvement in practices and measurable progress on the ground.