Although deploying software to manage computer and server energy use is among the lowest-hanging fruit in green IT, Pike Research predicts the market still has plenty of room to grow.
By 2015, the group predicts the many software solutions aimed at cutting wasted power from computers and servers will save companies $18.6 billion per year by 2015, a nearly five-fold growth.
The savings are central to power management software's allure: Solutions offered by a wide range of vendors all tout the same basic features: Quick installation, deep insight into IT's energy use, and quick return on investment from energy savings.
Despite the big, quick savings -- AT&T in 2009 showed how it is saving $13 million a year in energy use from power management -- software suites are still a relatively rare tool in the companies' sustainability toolboxes.
"Using power management settings on a single PC could save 746 kWh of electricity in just a year," Pike Research senior analyst Eric Woods said in a statement, "which translates into savings of almost $77. Yet, in 2010, only a little over one-fifth of users employed power management settings effectively."
That is set to change in the coming years. Pike's researchers see the economic slump continuing to hold the market for power management steady, but the real driver in the next few years will be steady growth in energy prices, coupled with legislation that puts a price on carbon, further raising the cost of a kilowatt-hour.
What it comes down to, though, is that demand for computing power is constantly rising, and power availability and energy costs are the big concerns. Putting a PC or server power management system in place can address both solutions.
Pike's report profiles not just the growth of the market, but the companies aiming to capitalize on that growth. We've previously looked at offerings from 1E (both on the PC and the server front) and Verdiem, two of the big players in the pure power-management space. But there are a number of other companies that are expanding their virtualization and data-center management offerings to also cover PC and server power use, including VMWare, Oracle and CA, among others.
More details about the report are available from Pike Research.