Gartner has noted how concerns relating to power management and the energy demands of cooling systems are impacting on data centre design and efficiency across the globe.
According to the analyst, many data centre racks operate at 50-60 per cent of their potential capacity as slots are left vacant in an attempt to lower their consumption of energy.
This attempt at power management extends to the cooling demands of the facility, with spread-out infrastructure typically seen as preferable to high-density design which focuses electricity consumption on one area.
But with many x86 servers operating at 12 per cent utilisation rates, Gartner recommends adopting virtualisation as a way of increasing the efficiency of the installation as a whole.
"Push these systems to higher utilisation levels to reduce overall energy consumption, reduce floor space and see more efficient use of your IT assets," the analyst suggests.
Virtualisation can also represent a step towards making use of cloud computing, a technology that Gartner recently said is redefining the relationship between IT service providers and their end-users.