Companies don't need to build a whole new datacentre to begin saving on energy. Below are some steps recommended by Burton Group analyst Andrew Kutz that enterprises can take in their existing datacentres to save on power consumption:

1. Cut the physical number of servers through high-density options, such as blade servers, and through virtualisation.

2. Reduce storage hardware by using SANs or other NAS devices that consolidate storage space. Consolidation of physical units greatly affects the amount of power consumed by the datacentre and can also represent lower-acquisition costs.

3. Look for energy-efficient hardware such as multi-core CPUs that reduce redundant and external electronics and therefore save on energy.

4. Check out CPU performance-stepping technology that dynamically adjusts the energy that processors require in relationship to processor load.

5. Dynamic control of a server's internal fans can reduce the energy needed when the air in the datacentre is cooler.

6. Liquid cooling of server racks can limit the amount of energy needed to remove heat from the datacentre.

7. Follow the hot aisle/cold aisle layout for arranging equipment in the datacentre. Although this technique dates to the mid-1990s, "it's extremely effective," Kutz says.

The design lets cool air flow through the aisles to the servers' front-air intake, and lets hot air flow from the back of servers to the AC return ducts, therefore requiring less energy for cooling.

8. Look for software that is multi-threaded to take advantage of multi-core-processor machines. "Today you can buy a new server out-of-the-box that is multi-core, but the software's not written for it, so you can't take advantage," Kutz says. "This falls in the lap of the software designers, they need to make sure their software is multi-threaded to take advantage of multiprocessor machines."