EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
DEAN BOYLE , CEO , EKKOSENSE
t ’ s easy to understand why good intentions
I around data centre sustainability are quickly side-tracked by events – this year more than ever . Data centre operations teams might have thought they had enough on their plate trying to balance escalating digital workloads , while also making progress with more demanding ESG and carbon reduction requirements .
Then 2022 got in the way , with its unprecedented energy crisis and record summer temperatures . Many operators now face electricity prices that have more than doubled since last year , while heatwaves in July and August placed exceptional demands on power-hungry data centre cooling infrastructures .
Of course we ’ re all to blame . As consumers , we insist on instant access to always-on , data-hungry digital services , and it ’ s the same at work where we all now ‘ meet ’ using bandwidth-intensive video collaboration software and our cloud systems burn up more and more compute power . Despite all this , the pressure to reduce what many external observers see as excessive carbon consumption in data centres isn ’ t going to go away . So , how can data centre leaders make sure that sustainability stays front and centre – while still delivering against critical productivity and risk management requirements ?
Data centre teams already work hard to enable best practice performance across their facilities . Indeed , they may already power their rooms with renewable energy , follow ISO standards for Environment and Energy Management and also take full advantage of the latest cloud , virtualisation and innovative cooling techniques . But what can teams actually do to not just unlock further data centre energy savings but also make sure these kind of sustainability actions are baked into their ongoing optimisation processes ?
First we have to understand exactly what ’ s going on in terms of real-time data centre performance . EkkoSense research shows that less than 5 % of all data centre operators currently measure what ’ s happening at the rack level – this means that when it comes to IT cabinets , most operators are effectively blind to their data centre ’ s actual thermal performance and power consumption . And with 15 % of cabinets in the average data centre currently operating outside of recommended ASHRAE thermal standards , that ’ s simply too high a risk to carry .
Addressing cooling efficiency is one of the most effective ways to optimise performance and secure environmental improvements , but for true data centre performance optimisation it ’ s essential to monitor and report temperature and cooling loads much more actively . By pursuing a software-enabled AIpowered approach to data centre performance optimisation , operations teams can gain the real-time performance insights they need to support both increased workloads while also securing quantifiable and repeatable energy savings . And because this approach can be deployed very quickly , there ’ s no reason why you can ’ t access these kinds of savings and sustainability benefits within weeks .
WE ’ RE ALL TO BLAME . AS CONSUMERS , WE INSIST ON INSTANT ACCESS TO ALWAYS-ON , DATA-HUNGRY DIGITAL SERVICES .
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