Does Gartner Think The Green Data Centre Is Done?
The top analyst firm has crossed Green IT off its list of priorities for CIOs next year, says Peter Judge. Does that mean the job is done already?
I was interested to read this week that Gartner has published its list of priorities for CIOs in 2011 – and green data centres has dropped out of sight.
Gartner offers up a list of “Strategic Technology Areas” every year. It is some sort of shamanic ritual, along with the analyst firm’s hype cycle and its “magic quadrants”. The analyst stretches itself to its full height, fixes its audience with a beady gaze, adopts a booming voice and, like the oracle at Delphi, pronounces mysterious auguries and our doom for the next year.
Happily, most people are agnostic about the Gartner religion. They pay a brief moment of attention to the ritual, make a mental note to look into some of the ideas, then get on with ther job.
Is Green IT over?
Larry Dignan noted that some topics had been dropped from this year’s list, when he blogged the list from Gartner’s Symposium in Orlando.
He gave an analysis of the ten items that were included, but it looks to me as if the dropped topics may be more interesting. One strange new arrival is “Media tablets”, which I don’t think will be strategic next year. And I think “ubiquitous computing” and “fabric-based intrastructure” are still at the stage of possibility, not delivery.
Meanwhile, Green IT and “reshaping the data centre” have been dropped, just at the point when I would have thought they were starting to become a reality and move into the practical world.
The Green (Low Carbon) Data Center blog puts it bluntly: “What this means is Gartner’s revenue stream from sponsored research in these areas has dropped the topic out of the top 10. The green data centre hype should die down a bit which is good as much of the presentations were not worth people’s time.”
In reality, it looks as if these “strategic” areas are actually just the items at the top of the Gartner “hype curve” at the moment, which I don’t think quite makes sense.
Green data centres gaining ground
In fact, green data centres are about to enter a massively practical phase, when CIOs can really get to grips with stuff. The storage industry has set out Emerald, a measurement scheme which will allow It staff to compare storage devices that meet their needs, and buy the most energy efficient.
Server makers have gone some way to the same end, and will start to move to catch up with their storage colleagues (though they still have a long way to go). Even networking, which only makes up ten percent of a data centre’s IT load, has started to wake up to the need to cut energy.
And the whole science of building data centres is in flux. Permanent structures have pushed their PUE below 1.1, while others have made a case for the quick-and-dirty approach of replacing whole data centres with canned kit in shipping containers. Somewhere between the two are modular data centres.
With all that, we have to say to Gartner – you are wrong. Green data centres are more strategic this year than they were last year. They may not be sexy, but they are really starting to happen.