Beware the NABERS tsunami!

The introduction of NABERS for data centres will bring substantial changes to enterprise IT operating practices, says a leading consultant.

The IT and data centre landscape for sustainability is about to change in Australia, says Bob Sharon, founder of Green Global Consulting. “The new NABERS for data centres rating introduces a recognised energy audit standard for both data centre infrastructure and IT workload.

Sharon says most data centres are totally unprepared for the introduction of NABERS. “Most people have no idea how much energy their data centre is consuming. Only about 10% of IT departments include the cost of electricity in the operational budget. No-one takes responsibility. But NABERS will change that, because the energy consumption will have to be measured. It will be like a tsunami – everybody will be affected.”

NABERS will not be mandatory, says Sharon, but that will change. “Already office premises must report their NABERS ratings when they are sold or leased. That is likely to happen with data centres also. And increasingly, companies wishing to deal with government will find that the NABERS rating of their data centres will be a factor in determining whether they get the business.

“Up until now, the two distinct functions governing data centres have typically been divided by IT and facilities managers, who traditionally have had limited interaction and sometimes conflicting priorities. Over time, the intention of the NABERS tool is to bring the tenants and landlords together in order to provide a much more integrated approach that will help improve efficiencies.

“For most organisations this will mean a shift in thinking to a more holistic and integrated approach that will ultimately improve efficiencies, reduce costs and have a positive impact on their carbon foot print. The introduction of NABERS also provides unique opportunity for colocation service providers. Those who innovate and think outside the square, and offer world’s best practice PUE or better, will be able to achieve a distinct competitive advantage.”

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.