The explosion of data generated and used by corporations, organizations, and individuals today places constant demands on data centers, from space constraints to power usage, cooling loads, and physical security. These findings appear in a new study conducted by Siemens, UBM Tech, and InformationWeek Marketing Services. According to the results, most executives feel that their organization’s data centers will run out of power, cooling, or space by the end of 2014.

In a 2008 Siemens-sponsored study of data center energy efficiency, aging facilities were much less of a concern (only 15%) than lack of processing capacity (27%) or the risk of losing data (25%). Nowadays, aging facility infrastructure is a growing concern, with 31% of IT pros flagging this as their chief problem, followed by concerns about equipment issues, such as running out of processing headroom (27%) and the fear of losing data (15%). This highlighted another notable trend: the growing nexus between facilities management and IT management, areas that were traditionally treated as distinctly different silos within an organization.

With budgets being an issue, companies are focusing on major fixes and upgrades, rather than investing capital in new buildings. In fact, more than half of the IT executives said they were actively considering or moving forward with server consolidation, blade deployment, virtualization and outsourcing servers/storage, and installing more energy efficient equipment.

According to the DatacenterDynamics 2012 Global Census, there has been a 63% growth in global data center power requirements — causing most companies to prioritize the more efficient management of power and cooling costs. About 40% of IT executives surveyed say that their organizations have taken steps toward making their data centers greener, and another 40% surveyed say they would like to go in this direction.

Yet a surprisingly large number of respondents — almost half — had no idea what percentage of their data center's total cost of ownership is comprised of energy costs. IT professionals are aware of how to make data centers greener, according to the research; however, they often fail to track critical metrics like PUE, KPIs, or cost of energy as closely or consistently as they should.

To better understand this and other growing challenges facing data center administrators today, Siemens and InformationWeek have joined forces to host a series of in-depth discussions on the “State of the Data Center.” The goal of the discussions is to capture the constraints faced by the industry and to develop solutions that help transform and prepare data centers for future market needs.

“Clearly there is plenty of room for IT to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in data centers,” says John Kovach, Siemens’ global head of data centers. “Better integration with the facility is the way of the future in data centers, and Siemens is excited to share our expertise to help companies look forward and prepare for growing and changing demands.”

The invitation-only series kicked off on June 27 in Washington, D.C., and will be followed by an event in New York City on July 17, and will conclude in Seattle on August 6. Industry experts will present solutions that challenge the status quo and empower companies to achieve their data center optimization goals. Key takeaways and presentations, along with information on how to access the August 6 simulcast of the event, will be available on the website at To view additional results of the study, click here.