An independent survey of senior datacentre professionals from across Europe carried out on behalf of Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR), the world's leading wholesale datacentre provider, has revealed heightened concerns about government regulation in the European datacentre industry.
Nearly 70 percent of companies surveyed reported that they are extremely concerned or very concerned with the potential impact of Green regulations on data centres.
"This survey clearly shows that there is a high level of concern about the impact of Green regulations on datacentre facilities. While the new Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) regulations in the E.U. address a number of questions about the new rules, new concerns about how companies will achieve compliance have arisen. That uncertainty is reflected in these results in terms of how the new rules will impact operations, finance and customer relations," said Jim Smith, CTO of Digital Realty Trust.
The survey is thought to be one of the most exhaustive to date across the European datacentre market. People surveyed were restricted to a minimum of Director level in IT, MIS, IS or finance and they needed to represent companies with either euro 500M or 500M pounds sterling annual revenues or 2,500+ employees. They also had to be responsible for managing a datacentre, implementing a new datacentre, executing contracts for a new datacentre or expanding existing datacentres. The survey was concluded at the end of March by Campos Research.
Other findings from the study include the following:
- 60 percent of surveyed companies now have Green datacentre strategies in place
- Over half (57 percent) felt there was now a clear definition of what constitutes a Green datacentre
- Energy efficiency is viewed as the key criteria for a Green datacentre
- While many mention a Green strategy as a factor in choosing a datacentre provider, no company emerges as a Green leader in the survey
- Among companies that have a Green datacentre strategy, the qualities they are looking for in datacentre providers include:
- Knowledge of current regulations and emerging Green standards
- Experience building facilities with LEED or BREEAM certification
- The ability to meet ISO 14001 and Green Grid standards
- More than half (55%) would reject a provider with no Green strategy
While energy efficiency was seen as the dominant characteristic of a Green datacentre, recycled materials, carbon issues and transportation were nearly equally important to those surveyed, who also included targeted cooling, efficient UPS and metering equipment among their "wish list". ISO 14001 and Green Grid were thought to be the leading standards for certifying a Green datacentre.
Companies who have already adopted a Green strategy said that the most important goal of their strategy was in reducing energy costs, but other benefits including climate change, customer image, cost of compliance and updating datacentres were also important. Despite the challenges facing the global economy, 58 percent of respondents had increased their focus on Green initiatives and 69 percent revealed that carbon credits were part of their strategy.