DataCenterNews Asia logo
Specialist data center news for Asia
Story image

Europe’s data centres need more brains than brawn to tackle energy efficiency

By Ashton Young
Sat 7 Jul 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Honeywell Building Solutions connected services sales & digital delivery senior director Daniela Pandrea

The level of energy consumed by the world’s data centers is getting more and more attention. However, it may well be possible to quickly and efficiently cut energy bills without the need for massive investments, explains Honeywell Building Solutions’ Daniela Pandrea.

We live in an increasingly data-dependent world, a trend that is set to escalate as new uses and applications for ‘big data’ continue to emerge. Developments such as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) are already starting to reshape how we work and live and consequently demand for data center services is booming. However, this growth has a down side – it could turn the big data center sector into a big-time energy consumer.

Climate Change News reported that US researchers found data centers alone currently consume around three percent of the global electricity supply, which accounts for about two percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. To put that into perspective, that is roughly the same carbon footprint as the airline industry.

Moreover, a recent report from Vertiv suggests the amount of energy consumed by the world’s data centers will triple during the next decade. The sector has come under scrutiny as its energy consumption curve flies in the face of the prevailing environmental objectives embodied in the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and the EU Data Center Code of Conduct. Clearly, there is a need to take a hard look at data center energy consumption in order to find ways to significantly reduce it.

Data Center owners and their facility managers are therefore left with a complex puzzle – how to cater for growing demand of their services while at the same time lowering energy usage. Any approach that starts to solve this problem has the additional benefit of reducing overheads, which could protect bottom line performance in a market that is increasingly cost driven. The good news is that much of what is needed to curb energy use is either already in hand or can be implemented without major upheaval or substantial investment. However, careful planning is required to ensure the best results.

But first, an energy audit

The fundamental rules for saving energy are very simple: spend time and effort where the returns are the greatest, which calls for the implementation of a structured energy management audit – find out what and where is consuming power.

The outcomes from this can be used to create a plethora of useful resources including, but not limited to:

  • Company energy policies;
  • Nominated person responsible for energy management;
  • Methods for monitoring and targeting short and long-term performance;
  • An identified, costed and approved list of energy-saving projects;
  • Reporting systems to show the status of projects; and
  • An auditing system to drive actions and improvement.

A good first step is to check the operating temperature of computer room air conditioning units. Cautious facility managers often set the temperature in the low 20 degrees Celsius, which may appear to be no-nonsense common sense. However, much equipment – especially newer kit – can safely run at high temperatures so it is worth rechecking the original equipment manufacturer recommendations as even a slight increase in ambient temperature reduces overall cooling costs. Air conditioning should also be set as appropriate, depending on what areas are to be cooled, rather than as a site-wide constant. It is worth remembering that a careful use of duct settings can help cool hotspots without incurring additional expenditure.

Energy sensation through integration

The building plays a significant role in energy management – its importance should not be underplayed. It is therefore advisable to take some simple structural steps that can help reduce energy consumption. For example, improvements to ventilation systems, air handling, chillers and windows as well as an upgrade to lighting systems and simple steps, such as switching to energy-saving bulbs, really do add up. However, the biggest likely improvements will come from an upgrade to a site’s management control systems. By being better able to monitor and control building services, facilities managers can leverage the latest advances in lighting and heating controls.

Importantly, a fully-featured data center installation will provide a single point of control, delivering easy-to-understand information, communication and data processing for more reliable building automation and management. And with enhanced monitoring capabilities, adjusting security, fire and safety systems also become easily examined, enabling greater control of a facility and the ability to respond quickly to events and fully preserve data integrity. Even more, the newly built, modern data centers use renewable energy sources, often self-produced.

Upgrading to this level of sophistication may seem complex but in all likelihood many of the core elements, such as heat sensors, will already be in place. In these instances, it is often possible to retrofit the additional features and functions to create a seamless management control system without busting the bank. It is therefore advisable to create an audit of existing equipment, which will make implementing upgrades to be both quicker and easier.

Time to get smart – really smart

In all probability, the monitoring systems in older data centers will be dated – they will provide building information, such as energy consumption data, to facility managers to make decisions. This is both slow and inefficient. However, the current generation of smart systems, which can be easily retrofitted, can be programmed to quickly and proactively take control of environmental decisions, which can help reduce energy bills while enhancing site operations. Remote access is also an option, which can be especially helpful for facility managers who are responsible for multiple sites or out-of-hours working.

Energy efficiency is not all about hardware and systems, though; it’s also about empowering employees. Training staff and encouraging them to switch off unnecessary equipment, processes and services can lead to energy reductions. Also look at maintenance schedules – properly maintained equipment, such as chillers and pumps, generally uses less power when it is properly functioning.

Get ready for growth

The data center industry will continue to grow but how it responds to its increasing carbon footprint is something is up in the air, although key decisions will be needed to be made very soon. In order to streamline the decision-making process, data center facility managers can choose a technology partner with a proven record of helping businesses reduce energy consumption. Just as important, that team must possess the technology and know-how to seamlessly integrate into the existing infrastructure.

New centres, and those still under construction, will be designed to be more energy efficient than older sites. However, that is no reason for complacency – small changes make a big difference and every penny of power saved today is an extra penny on the bottom line tomorrow. The return on investment alone should motivate data centers around the world to get smart with their energy consumption.

Environmental protection and compliance with green energy targets aren’t enemies to productivity, they can be used to incentivise efficiencies and profits. And in a highly competitive market that has to be a good thing.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Macquarie Data Centres
Macquarie deal to pioneer CO2-cutting data centre tech in Australia
Macquarie Data Centres has signed a multi-year deal with ResetData, an Australian first provider using Submer data centre technology. 
Story image
Migration
SNP unveils next generation of CrystalBridge software platform
Data is a key pillar of every customer-centric organisation, as it relies on agile decisions to become increasingly sustainable and intelligent.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Zscaler launches co-located data centres in Canberra and Auckland
The investment will offer public and private sector enterprises greater resilience in support of their zero trust cybersecurity posture.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
HPE GreenLake advances hybrid cloud experience with new services
"The innovations unveiled today further build on our vision to provide the market with an unmatched platform to spur innovation and drive transformation.”
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Sustainability
Evolution Data Centres reveals target of 20 tonnes of CO2 per GWh
Evolution Data Centres launches their new Sustainable Data Centre Charter, which includes targets like only 20 tonnes of carbon emissions per GWh by 2030.
Story image
Sustainability
Huawei unveils next-generation sustainable data centers
Huawei says its next-generation data centers will be powered by PowerPOD 3.0, which reduces the footprint by 40% and cuts the energy consumption by 70%.
Story image
Sustainability
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.
Story image
Infosys
Preparing for the digital decade with the right workforce strategies
For a decade that started under the pall of the pandemic, the 2020s is poised to end with a bang with the digital economy swelling to a high across the world.
Story image
Cloud
Boomi surpasses 20,000 customers. Sets record for the iPaaS space
Boomi has announced it has surpassed the 20,000 customer mark, setting the record for the largest customer base among iPaaS vendors.
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Infrastructure
SolarWinds IT Trends Report highlights increased cloud complexity for businesses
SolarWinds' new IT Trends report has signalled a significant shift in the way businesses are dealing with hybrid cloud and infrastructure.
Story image
Data Science
Neo4j announces service delivery alliance with Deloitte
Neo4j has announced a service delivery alliance with Deloitte Consulting Southeast Asia for a range of services to customers within the region.
Story image
Cloud
SnapLogic improves Intelligent Integration Platform
SnapLogic has released new features and improvements to its Intelligent Integration Platform, which will allow IT, data and business teams to make select processes faster and more straightforward.
Story image
Cloud
Cisco Live showcases new offerings in its first hybrid event
Cisco Live 2022 has seen Cisco executives and customers take the stage to present a range of discussions in the company’s first-ever hybrid event.
Story image
Broadband
Singapore found to have the speediest internet rates in the world
New research from BanklessTimes has shown that Singapore has the highest recorded median internet speed in the world at 207.61 MBPS.
Story image
Vietnam
Viettel IDC deploys Cloudian Hyperstore object storage for enhanced cloud solutions
Cloudian has announced that its Hyperstore object storage has been deployed by Vietnam telco Viettel IDC, citing the technology’s flexibility, multi-tenancy and ransomware protection as significant advantages.
Story image
Sisense
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Databricks announces new offering for Unity Catalog
Databricks has significantly expanded data governance capabilities on the lakehouse by unveiling data lineage for Unity Catalog.
Story image
Cloud
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
Story image
Sydney
Equinix and PGIM Real Estate open data centre in Sydney
Equinix and PGIM Real Estate, the real estate investment and financing arm of PGIM, have announced the first xScale data centre in Sydney, named SY9x.
Story image
Infrastructure
Global investment in data centers more than doubled in 2021
DLA Piper's latest global survey finds the total investment in data center infrastructure worldwide rose from USD $24.4 billion in 2020 to USD $53.8 billion in 2021.
Story image
Sustainability
Intel unveils new investments for data center sustainability
Intel has announced two new investments, continuing its efforts to create more sustainable data center technology.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
Cloud
Vertiv introduces line of redundant power transfer switches
Vertiv has introduced Vertiv Geist Rack Transfer Switch (RTS), a new line of transfer switches that provides redundant power to single-corded devices.
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Sustainability
AirTrunk boosts Japan presence with West Tokyo data center
AirTrunk is planning to build TOK2, a new hyperscale data center in Japan which will strengthen the company’s presence in the country.
Story image
Infrastructure
New Uptime analysis highlights worsening downtime costs and consequences
New data from Uptime Institute has found that downtime costs and consequences are worsening as those involved in data infrastructure fail to find ways to curb outages.
Story image
Sustainability
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.
Story image
Infrastructure
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure expands distributed cloud services
“Distributed cloud is the next evolution of cloud computing, and provides customers with more flexibility and control in how they deploy cloud resources."
Story image
Cloud
QuSecure partners with DataBridge Sites to showcase platform
QuSecure has partnered with DataBridge Sites to showcase its Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS) orchestration platform, QuProtect.
Story image
Colocation
Digital Edge chooses Nortek’s StatePoint for new data center
Digital Edge will use Nortek's StatePoint liquid cooling technology in its new data center, the first commercial colocation operator in Asia to do so.
Story image
Healthcare
SnapLogic launches Accelerator for Amazon HealthLake
SnapLogic has launched Accelerator to allow healthcare and life sciences organisations to turn raw data into healthcare-related insights and actions.
Story image
Cloud
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Secureworks researches new threat to Elasticsearch databases
Researchers from Secureworks' Counter Threat Unit have identified indexes of multiple internet-facing Elasticsearch databases replaced with a ransom note.
Story image
Sustainability
Daikin and SP Group to build new energy efficient district cooling system
The project, set to be complete by 2025, will create a system with a cooling capacity of up to 36,000 refrigerant tonnes (RT). 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Kaspersky opens three new centers to boost data management
Cybersecurity company Kaspersky has opened three new Transparency Centers, one in Japan, the second in Singapore and the third in the United States.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Micro Focus unveils Data Center Automation for SaaS delivery
MicroFocus has released Data Center Automation (DCA) for software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery, offering more cost-effective vulnerability risk and IT compliance management.
Story image
Partnerships
Thailand announces launch of the Thailand 5G Alliance
It will promote collaboration between the public and private sector, through companies such as Huawei, to commercially drive Thailand's 5G development.
Story image
Expansion
Colt Technology expands into South Korea data center market
Colt Technology Services has expanded its network into the South Korean market, offering the country’s businesses cost-effective, low latency connectivity.
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cisco unveils new cloud-managed networking offerings
Cisco has announced new cloud management capabilities that offer a unified experience across the Cisco Meraki, Cisco Catalyst and Cisco Nexus portfolios.
Story image
Public Cloud
Public cloud services revenues top $400 billion in 2021
"For the next several years, leading cloud providers will play a critical role in helping enterprises navigate the current storms of disruption."
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Qualtrics goes live on AWS Cloud Infrastructure in Japan
Organisations across Japan will now be able to access the Qualtrics XM/OS platform locally via data centre in the AWS Asia Pacific (Tokyo) region.