Intelligent Data Centres Issue 35 | Page 20

Steven Carlini , Vice President , Innovation and Data Centre , Schneider Electric
sustainability metrics . Today , there are a plethora of metrics from which to choose , with data centre operators each reporting their own preferred measurements .
However , I believe there is a need to measure sustainable progress in a consistent and organised way .
According to the Uptime Institute , IT and Power consumption , and Power Usage Effectiveness ( PUE ) remain the top sustainability metrics tracked across the industry . While PUE has long been an excellent marker of efficiency , we must also agree on metrics for the other categories of environmental sustainability – greenhouse gas emissions , water use , waste and biodiversity .
Going forward , I believe sustainability metrics within the industry must evolve and become more standardised . This effort can leverage business processes , like GAAP balance sheets and income statements , to provide a ledger where each company can state the results using established rules and units of measurement . An approach such as this ensures comprehensive reporting that is universally understood and provides a baseline to measure success . Further , it makes it possible to compare sustainability results with other companies .
At Schneider Electric , we know that not all companies are at the same stage of their sustainability journey , which is why we recommend a framework for Beginning , Advanced and Leading . Beginning companies will report on energy use , Greenhouse Gas Emissions ( GHG ), and water utilisation . The 11 metrics for this level are a mix of measured values like GHG emissions in mtCO 2 e and ratios like Carbon Usage Effectiveness ( CUE ) in mtCO 2 e / kWh . ‘ Advanced ’ metrics bring in the ‘ waste ’ category and ‘ Leading ’ metrics will include a category for land and biodiversity .
Data centre functions become services
Data-Centre-as-a-Service ( DCaaS ) offerings are beginning to gain popularity . The trend is enabled by standardising power , cooling , IT and storage in data centres to offer the same user experience and data access from everywhere . Companies like Microsoft and Amazon have already started offering such services with their Azure and Outposts initiatives , extending versions of their cloud architecture into the Edge environment where customers can pay a monthly service fee for their capacity .
Many traditional IT companies such as Dell and HPE have positioned themselves as IT advisors to help companies design and run business application or workloads in the cloud ( consulting services , engineering , integration and management ), rather than as IT hardware and software suppliers , so one might predict that DCaaS will continue to gain traction .
Overall , I believe data centre capacity will continue to grow at both the core and Edge driven by digital acceleration and enabled by high-capacity networking 4 / 5 / 6G and Wi-Fi 6 .
Model-based software will be leveraged to bring efficient , resilient and sustainable data centre capacity online faster , which is great timing as we are at the precipice of Edge being deployed at scale . ◊
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