A Green Data Centre Goes Beyond Energy Efficiency: Gartner

Power and cooling will drive the evolution of data centres into becoming conceptual models of intelligent 'living organisms' as organisations need to improve energy efficiency and become 'greener', according to Gartner.

"If 'greening' the data centre is the goal, power efficiency is the starting point but not sufficient on its own," said Rakesh Kumar, vice president at Gartner. "'Green' requires an end-to-end, integrated view of the data centre, including the building, energy efficiency, waste management, asset management, capacity management, technology architecture, support services, energy sources and operations."

Legacy data centres, constructed in the last decade are – in relative terms and particularly when addressing 'green' – functionally obsolete. New, high-density, power-hungry data-centre equipment warrants more advanced power and cooling capabilities. If they are not fully aware of the problem, data centre managers run the risk of doubling their energy costs between 2005 and 2011. If we assume that data centre energy costs continue to double every five years, they will have increased 1,600 percent between 2005 and 2025.

"Data centre managers need to think differently about their data centres. Tomorrow's data centre is moving from being static to becoming a living organism, where modelling and measuring tools will become one of the major elements of its management," said Kumar. "It will be dynamic and address a variety of technical, financial and environmental demands, and modular to respond quickly to demands for floor space. In addition, it will need to have some degree of flexibility, to run workloads where energy is cheapest and above all be highly-available, with 99.999 per cent availability."

Achieving an optimised, reliable and efficient data centre environment requires a holistic and integrated approach, which can comprise six stages including suitable location picking, development of the site on a modular basis, inclusion of chillers and high-ventilation air conditioning units (HVACS), use of recycling and alternative energy sources, deployment of monitoring tools and management of server efficiencies.

Kumar concluded, "In this way, data centres will become more energy efficient, be better for the environment and use emerging green IT products and processes. In essence, this living organism data centre will be the green data centre."

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Updated Date: Jan 31, 2017 01:54:05 IST