Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 70 | Page 28


Demand for Internet and smart technologies is increasing rapidly . The International Energy Agency estimates that 1 % of all global electricity is used by data centres and that by 2025 , data centres will consume one-fifth of the world ’ s power supply . Much of the energy is used to power servers , but they in turn produce heat and need to be cooled which again requires a lot of energy . Data shows that energy consumption by cooling data centre IT equipment can be over 40 % of total energy consumption .

With rising global temperatures , there is therefore a huge drive towards sustainability across the region , with many enterprises switching to hyperscale cloud providers , with a desire to be more environmentally conscious and due to limited interest in investing in data centre infrastructure as opposed to the more flexible offerings from cloud providers .
Shared resources can prove to be more energy efficient than many small data centres , each with their own power and cooling and often housing underutilised equipment . We are also witnessing a shift in the type of equipment used in data centres . Thanks to various cooling and energy management techniques , including using liquid-based solutions instead of conventional air cooling , new equipment ’ s power and heat requirements play a vital part in energy reduction .
Traditional cooling strategies use chillers to cool the ambient air within a data centre . Most data centre operators have since switched to containment which isolates hot aisles and cold aisles from each other and prevents hot and cold air from mixing . Data centres with hot / cold aisles can help you save on your energy bills – as much as 50 %.
Technology can help ; intelligent cooling technology can reduce data centres ’ power usage effectiveness ( PUE ) value by between 8 %– 15 %. For example , Abu Dhabi City Municipality constructed an intelligent modular data centre utilising advanced in-row cooling , close-coupled cooling and aisle containment technologies to reduce data centre PUE by more than 0.4 , even in the hot UAE environment .
Data centres are increasingly turning more and more towards liquid cooling . When cooling high-density racks , liquid cooling can be up to 3,000 times more effective than utilising air because of the increased heat transfer qualities of water or other fluids .
Additionally , there is a chance to use extra heat from data centres to heat homes or public spaces like workplaces or swimming pools . According to the research group , Energy Innovation , the largest data centres produce over 100MW of energy , which is sufficient to power 80,000 houses .
The UAE has pledged to cut emissions as part of its global commitment to tackle climate change . The fastgrowing technology industry can support this noble goal by taking steps to reduce energy consumption and switching to green IT .
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