Do the math: Voltaire "50-50-300" calculator supports the green data center

Data centers create massive amounts of data that is processed, routed, and archived. A key requirement to going green in the data center is to achieve those tasks while consuming less power and "real estate."


Data centers create massive amounts of data that is processed, routed, and archived. A key requirement to going green in the data center is to achieve those tasks while consuming less power and "real estate."

Voltaire Ltd ., a provider of unified fabric data center architecture based on InfiniBand technology, says its platform allows companies across industries to improve revenues through speedier application performance.

Unified fabrics facilitate networking services between InfiniBand fabrics, Fibre Channel SANs, and Ethernet LANs over a single high-performance fabric with multiple virtual interfaces replacing actual physical adapters. By addressing all three types of networking traffic within a single chassis, IT executives can reduce power consumption by consolidating and virtualizing their data center interconnects without sacrificing performance.

But a recent survey by Voltaire finds that while CIOs and senior IT executives overwhelmingly believe a green data center will become mission-critical, many lack the cash to go green.

Nearly 90 percent of executives surveyed believe greening their data centers will be crucial to meeting their business objectives in 2009, with 57 percent indicating that going green would give them a competitive advantage.

The Voltaire survey queried CIOs, CTOs, and senior IT executives who attended the recent 2008 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium .

Problem is 76 percent do not have a committed budget for a greening policy.

"It appears from these findings that senior IT management is still in the planning phases, and will need to prioritize funding for these important greening initiatives," says Patrick Guay, an executive VP with Voltaire Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Voltaire Ltd. "We help them with the analysis and data collection to validate the savings they will achieve. Our numbers show that for enterprises, the return on a green data center fabric infrastructure using currently available technology is in the millions of dollars. For example, a Fortune 500 company with five data centers worldwide, and 3,000 servers per data center, can save approximately $7,400,000 per year."

In response to these findings, Voltaire now offers its 50-50-300 Pledge , which states that IT executives, working with the company to deploy a Voltaire unified fabric, can save 50 percent on power/cooling related to server interconnections and 50 percent on hardware allocation/usage, while delivering up to a 300-percent increase in application performance.

Voltaire also offers an Efficiency Calculator to help IT executives estimate their network energy and cost savings, and justify the investment.

Additional findings from the Voltaire survey include:

• 43 percent of respondents will implement a green data center in the next two years.

• Reducing power and cooling costs/requirements was ranked by 52 percent of the respondents as the most important benefit gained by going green in the data center. Next was helping the environment (37 percent); followed by increased utilization (32 percent); downsizing real estate/space requirements (28 percent); and reducing/consolidating equipment needed (27 percent).

• Among the respondents who said that going green gives their companies a competitive advantage, 72 percent say it provides a more efficient and cost-effective infrastructure so they can invest more in new technologies.

"We want companies to understand the 'green' benefits of unified fabrics based on InfiniBand technology—the only fabric technology available today that improves data center efficiency and the performance of mission-critical applications at the same time—in industries from manufacturing to financial services to media/entertainment," concludes Guay.

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