Data centers consume enormous amounts of electricity. According to a report in Computer World, it takes 34 power plants each capable of generating 500 megawatts of electricity, to power all the requirements in U.S. By 2020, the nation will need another 17 similarly-sized power plants to meet projected energy demands.
More energy demands implies more fuel usage. Any increase in using fossil fuels to generate electricity will result in an increase in carbon emissions. A report on data center energy efficiency by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental action organization, showed nationwide, it has used 91 billion kilowatt-hours of electrical energy in 2013. That is enough to power all of New York City’s households twice over. The power consumption is expected to grow to 140 billion kilowatt-hours in 2020, that’s a 53% increase!
It uses up to 3 percent of all power generated in the United States.
Can you imagine, it would be the 5th largest consumer of energy in the world if they were a country? By increasing efficiency and driving the adoption of renewables, the industry can make a huge difference and demonstrate how green business is good business.
Industry analyst firm IDC said companies spend more than $26 billion to power and cool servers worldwide. A 40% reduction in energy use, which the report says is only half of the technically possible reduction, would equal $3.8 billion in savings for businesses.
The IDC report also finds that energy efficiency progress is slowing. Once the obvious efficiency projects such as isolating hot and cold aisles are completed, additional investment in energy efficiency becomes harder to justify either because of the cost or because of a perception that new initiatives might increase risk. IT managers are highly cautious about implementing aggressive energy management programs because they’re concerned that such measures could threaten uptime IDC reported.
How To Make Your Data Center Eco-Friendly?
1. Consolidate Servers: Turn off any dead servers and optimize your existing servers.
2. Upgrade Servers: Move to energy efficient servers.
3. Change To High-Efficiency Power: This removes inefficiencies with multiple AC/DC conversions.
4. Monitor Power Use: Continuously check the servers for optimal efficiencies. This allows a data center to only use the amount of power needed and doing away with obsolete servers.
5. Implement Natural Cooling: Create effective cooling methods to use outside air. This reduces energy costs by 40 percent!
6. Improve Air Management: Redesign air management to prevent re-circulation of hot air from IT systems.
7. Find Optimal Environment: If possible, pick an environment that has cooler temperatures, low humidity and good airflow availability.
It may seem like the burgeoning of these solutions has reached its peak. But according to the worldwide public relations firm OpenPR, the Global Green Data center market was valued at USD 35.8 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach a market value of USD 148.22 billion by 2022, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.20% between 2017 and 2022. Environmental regulations, rising energy costs, expansion are a few challenges driving the need for energy efficient, sustainable infrastructures. Building a green infrastructure requires a holistic approach to the entire infrastructure and not just the IT equipment.
It is absolutely essential for a solutions provider to offer customizable and holistic data center solutions to companies around the world. They need to assess your needs and provide the right solutions to consolidate, redesign and relocate if necessary for optimal IT efficiency.
An industry-coveted IT team, who have extensive experience in design, implementation and operation of large, medium and small scale levels can make this possible.
· Modular data center (MDC) design
· Hot and cold-aisle containment
· Power supply efficiency minimums
· Energy Star equipment
· Measure and track power and temperature
· Focus on virtualization
· Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) purchased for 100% of annual energy use.
Converting to a green data center has measurable returns. It can significantly reduce the energy costs in running your facility. It is not always capital-intensive and many-a-times, needs minimal amount of upfront costs. Before making any sizable investments in energy efficient technologies, track and evaluate your current environment and/or work with a solutions provider.
Ms. Sheetal is a data center consultant who has published several infrastructure articles. She is currently associated with 3 renowned solutions providers in India and US, one of which is Rahi Systems based in California. It is one of the leading solutions provider with 11 offices spread across 5 continents.