Scottish university CIO hails data centre’s financial savings and morale-boosting

Steven Watt, Chief Information Officer – or CIO – of the University of St Andrews, has enthused about how the educational institution’s micro data centre has made impressive financial savings and helped to improve morale in IT staff. To be more exact, Watt has claimed that the facility is annually saving the six-century-old university £65,000 and has helped to boost morale in its IT department of 100 people; however, he has also expressed doubt that a data centre… could become completely sustainable. Nonetheless, the sustainability of many data centres could be enhanced through use of high quality products from Data Centre Shop.

A data centre that has succeeded in many different respects

The micro data centre rests on a brownfield site in the small Fife town of St Andrews and saves the university £65,000 a year in electricity costs; Watt has added that, over ten years, financial savings made by the centre could reach £1.4 million against the average costs of electricity for a data centre in the sector. Watt has also acknowledged the improvement of satisfaction among staff in the university’s IT department; as the quality of the data centre has been recognised with awards, these staff know that they are, in Watt’s words, “not seen as a team supporting a failing infrastructure”. Watt has also reported higher student satisfaction and greater system availability thanks to the data centre.

A crucial warning about the sustainability of data centres

Despite this long list of impressive achievements and the commitment made by the University of St Andrews to become carbon neutral by 2016, Watt has seemed less positive about the ability of data centres to be fully sustainable. He has particularly cautioned that the sustainability of data centres should not be viewed simply by their relative costs and energy efficiency and declared: “I don’t see a time in the future when data centres become fully sustainable, especially when looking at their component parts”. Nonetheless, the sustainability of many UK data centres could be enhanced through the use of data centre products that are from many different brands and can be purchased from Data Centre Shop.

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