The colour 'green'

Green will remain just another colour for ME firms till vendors begin to evangelise on the benefits of 'going green'.

  • E-Mail
By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  September 17, 2007

September was the month for big shows.

It's only mid-month and the region has already seen one of the more important communication shows in GSM>3G Middle East and Gulf (3GSM) and the world's third largest ICT exhibition in GITEX Technology Week.

Big shows like these two are rather exciting places. They act as hives of activity that bring together, in one go, everything that is new in the IT market in the region, especially GITEX. This year, as always, the show also acted as a networking platform for different stakeholders of the industry to get together.

These are ideal opportunities to get a feel of technology trends that will affect regional enterprises a few years down the line. Placing my ear to the ground - or in this case walking around the various halls at the show - I heard a lot of one thing - ‘green' datacentres.

‘Green' datacentres, as the name indicates, are datacentres which are built and operated with the idea of obtaining optimal performance from network hardware, while using power and cooling minimally, which makes it much more cost effective, and in the most environmentally unobtrusive manner.

The trend has been catching on in large parts of Europe and the US as companies struggle to cut down on their power and cooling costs - which according to some industry statistics can comprise up to 40% of the operational costs in a datacentre - and as they aim to achieve higher efficiencies from their third or fourth datacentre implementations.

Virtualisation goes hand-in-hand with ‘going green' as these solutions promise to increase productivity with minimal costs and reduce repeat infrastructure investments.

Both of these, however, remain low on the priority list for most enterprises which are building datacentres in the region. There are several reasons for this. For one, most datacentres in the region are green field implementations.

In other words, they are the first datacentres for most enterprises. These implementations are driven more in terms of putting in the latest technology in hardware and infrastructure and rarely do enterprises pay attention - initially at least - to operational costs or deriving higher efficiencies from their infrastructure.

While power and cooling remain important concerns for organisations - especially in some parts of the region where summer temperatures can cross 50 Celsius - enterprises continue to pay more attention to the kind of servers, switches and routers that they can stack a datacentre with than the mechanical and electrical components of the room which could detract from the performance levels of the infrastructure.

There is no right and wrong way here - only an evolutionary path. Middle East enterprises are building their first datacentres and tend to think like their peers in more mature markets did some years back. It is largely up to vendors in the region to speed enterprises down that path as they educate and evangelise on the benefits that organisations can accrue from planning and designing a ‘green' datacentre.

Success might come in time. For now though, all that talk of ‘green' may only make most Middle East enterprises think of a particular colour.

On a different note, 3GSM this year turned out to be a rather sedate show. It was unfortunate that the show took place only a week prior to GITEX which, according to many of the participants, was one of the major reasons that it did not attract as many visitors as it did last year.

The show did include most of the large telecom vendors though they were not there in the same numbers as last time and most of them left hoping that next year's exhibition, which is scheduled for December, will prove to be a better one.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code