With the demand for data accelerating, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the global colocation market is expected to hit nearly $52 billion by 2020. According to a study by Allied Market Research, the industry has already surpassed the halfway mark — with projections putting the industry at $36 billion by the year’s end.
All that growth, of course, has led to increasing concerns about the environmental footprint of data centers around the world. As a result, many companies are investing in innovative measures to address those issues, which have increasingly come to the forefront in recent years.
According to the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, buildings with data centers are consuming anywhere from 100 to 200 times as much electricity as other office spaces.
And, in response to new standards released by ASHRAE (Energy Standard for Data Centers), companies are taking different measures to boost energy efficiency in data centers, including the following:
According to Schneider Electric, some of the leading innovations in energy efficiency can be traced to different types of cooling systems. With more traditional cooling methods, data centers require large supplies of water or damaging refrigerant to keep data centers operating at safe levels.
Computer room evaporative cooling (CREC), which effectively helps lower power usage effectiveness (PUE), is among the leading trends cited by industry experts. CREC works by “shifting some of the electrical consumption of a typical data center for the cooling infrastructure to IT power consumption,” said David Roden of Schneider Electric.
Reduction in servers
Despite the growth in demand for data centers, many companies are reducing the number of servers being deployed — following studies that revealed how many of them were being underutilized or not used at all. Also, innovations, including server virtualization, have led to them being more efficient and powerful — allowing IT employees to maximize each server’s total capacity.
Newer hyperscale data centers, which are designed to be more efficient from the initial stages, focus on maximizing server utilization from the start.
In addition to companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft, other data center providers are also focusing on innovations in infrastructure and cooling equipment to ensure that their clients are operating at a more efficient level. In addition, more companies are deploying applications in the cloud.