Streamlining Data Centre Efficiency

Increasingly businesses are looking to optimise the efficiency of data centres. In order to make data centres more sustainable IT departments are looking to smartly utilise natural resources as well as virtualise and consolidate. Currently the carbon footprint treaded by data centres is comparable to that of air travel.

Especially apparent in the current economic climate is the emphasis on the optimisation of the data centre within all businesses. According to Gartner – ‘Organisations are starting to take a serious look at consumption ratios of compute power to energy consumed and then compare them against estimated productivity of applications, as well as the equipment to deliver that application.’

The inefficiency of the majority of data centres becomes especially apparent when you consider how the energy consumption breaks down. Cooling accounts for 40% of overall energy consumption and is expected to reach $50 billion globally by the end of the century. Not to mention the fact that within data centres 30% of the servers are generally dead, consuming energy without being properly utilised.

In addition there has been a steady increase in the number of data centres being built. Within the U.S.A the number of data centres has reached the 10,000 mark and Gartner expect an increase in enterprise IT budgets of between 10-50%. Traditionally the leaders in data centre construction have been the U.S. and Europe. However Asia and the Pacific are rapidly catching up.

The global increase in data centres has however produced novel engineering methods to increase efficiency. Acamdemica have pushed such a novel scheme in Helsinki, a city where temperatures reach -20ºC.  Water used to cool data centres is recycled and used to provide heat for over 500 homes.  The same water is then re-circulated to cool the servers again.

The push for greener and more efficient data centres is now more apparent than ever with energy costs rising rapidly as well as the new UK Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) obligations.

Such a push needs to continue throughout the entire industry, from the power suppliers to the rack makers and industry leaders must work together to drive improvement.

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