Though the collocation industry is mature, Washburn says, "its use as a green IT tactic is low since service providers struggle to offer service-level agreements that tie to reducing environmental impacts or reporting that quantifies their success in doing so."
In another barrier to wider adoption, datacenter outsourcing and collocation services also require complex and long-term contracts, Washburn says.
Green tech No. 3: IT energy measurement
There's an ongoing mantra associated with green technology: You can't manage what you can't measure. Thus, I'm not surprised to see IT energy measurement among Forrester's green-tech picks for significant success. "IT energy and environmental measurement technologies -- such as energy meters, sensors, thermostats, and computational fluid dynamics -- will help IT organizations develop their green IT baseline: an annual estimate of the energy consumption, carbon emissions, and dollar costs of operating IT," Washburn writes.
[ Find out why measuring energy consumption in the datacenter is easier said than done. ]
Indeed, a host of established vendors and upstarts have rolled out tools for measuring energy consumption of IT gear and associated equipment. HP, for example, has developed Dynamic Smart Cooling sensors to monitor the temperatures of individual server racks and adjust to meet their respective cooling needs. SynapSense has devised a solution that uses wireless sensors to gather various types of data on temperature, humidity, and energy consumption. Sentilla offers devices that measure electricity being consumed by individual servers. The list goes on.
Washburn identifies this technology as a mature one in which companies are already actively investing.
Green tech No. 4: PC power management software
PC power management software puts computers into a low-power mode when they're not being used, thus saving energy. Most, if not all, support Wake On-LAN technology, meaning computers can be roused from their slumber remotely for patching, backing up, and the like, then put back to sleep. More, if not all, are also capable of quantifying environmental and financial returns.
[ Learn more about the benefits of PC power management. ]