Well over half of the respondents to a recent survey of 1,100 data center owners and operators around the globe said that saving energy is a major priority for their organizations. Eighty-two percent said saving energy translates to cost-savings. Yet most companies do not have financial incentives optimized to affect real change.

These are some of the findings of the Uptime Institute's second annual data center industry survey, conducted in March and April.

Information technology organizations that take a systematic approach to saving energy will get the most benefit, says the survey. They need to consolidate applications and servers, de-duplicate data, remove comatose but power-draining servers, build redundancy into the applications and IT architecture rather than the physical systems and improve server utilization.

More than 70% of respondents said they collect power usage data. A quarter said they are collecting carbon emissions data, and 34% are collecting water usage data.

The percentage of respondents that reported deploying a prefab modular center has doubled from 4% to 8% since last year. And the number of respondents who said they are not at all interested in modular decreased from 55% down to less than half.

For those building modular, a brick-and-mortar server room with preconfigured, self-contained power and cooling blocks is the most popular option.

The majority of respondents said they will try to meet demand for increased server capacity without building new facilities.