Fortunately, there are cost-saving strategies out there. Among them is re-thinking the kind of equipment you can buy (more energy-efficient hardware and standards are coming out all the time), the technologies you employ, such as virtualization and thin clients, and even the way you lay out your datacenter.
2. Going green will help reduce the impact of the imminent energy crisis. Yes, I know: Crisis is often one of those words that media types throw around to cause panic and sell magazines or newspapers or drive Web site traffic. Nevertheless, based on the research I've seen, crisis is an apt word.
Right now, energy supply looks to be struggling to keep up with demand. A recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concludes that, thanks to the industry shift to low-end servers, global power consumption has doubled since 2000 to more than 123 million kw/hours. Power demands are expected to increase by 40 percent come 2010 -- and that's assuming that per-server power consumption remains at 2005 rates.
Or consider what Gartner proclaimed at the end of 2006: Half of datacenters will run out of power by 2008. As explained by Timothy Morgan at ITJungle:
"Gartner did not, by the way, literally mean that datacenters would go dark in two years after blowing some fuses or melting under their own heat. What Gartner did say was that by the end of 2008, 50 percent of the datacenters in the world would not have enough power to meet the power and cooling requirements of the high-density computing gear that vendors are increasingly peddling."
Although this prediction doesn't mean it's time to get hysterical, or start training an army of hamsters to power your server farm, it should certainly be a compelling reason to start looking at ways to conserve energy.
Want more information? Check out this Webcast from The Uptime Institute about "The Invisible Crisis in the Data Center." (Registration is required for viewing.)
3. Going green is good PR. Both environmentally- and economically-conscious people like a good news article about the ways companies are leveraging green technology, be it simply investing in more energy-efficient gear, or putting solar panels on top of their datacenters. That kind of positive publicity is good advertising, which also can offset some of the cost of investing in green IT. (These kinds of case studies can also provide useful guides for other companies looking for ways to cut energy costs.)