tough new standards enacted to protect the nation ’ s land , water and renewable energy resources .
Increasingly , governments are expecting data centres to measure and disclose their carbon footprint and demonstrate progress towards reductions . There are numerous ways to reduce carbon emissions – no one size fits all – but cost and new technologies usually factor into the equation . Among these , operators are evaluating a variety of energy optimisation techniques , from control loop optimisation to liquid cooling options , especially as high-performance computing ( HPC ) and AI / ML applications become more ubiquitous and demanding in heat dissipation requirements . Air cooling systems simply can ’ t keep up with the cooling needs of continually evolving , higher-density racks for these next-gen workloads .
Liquid cooling leverages the higher thermal transfer properties of special fluids , providing as much as 3,000 times the efficiency of air cooling . With more and more businesses integrating HPC applications driven by AI – which require tremendous computing power – operators are realising that the time has arrived to seriously incorporate liquid cooling in their architecture and roadmap .
The human element : A looming talent shortage
Not least among data centre challenges is a widening skills gap and the ongoing ‘ Great Resignation ’. Some see this as a result of the industry ’ s ineffective efforts to actively recruit and retain talent from the vocational schools over the last two decades . The industry is also dealing with an ageing workforce of subject matter experts – those qualified to teach entrylevel employees – many of whom will retire within the next 10 years . Yet GenZ workers who have the skills and aptitude to pursue such a career are not seeing careers in data centres as an attractive option . Nevertheless , there are promising initiatives in the industry to source candidates from a pool of disciplined and well-qualified military veterans .
As operators develop plans for the year ahead , they should be considering strategies for scaling up intelligently , reining in OpEx and prioritising sustainability efforts . They should also take a hard look at how they can make the profession – and their facilities – more attractive to the next generation of talent . �
A SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY IS NO LONGER SIMPLY A ‘ NICE TO HAVE ’