Energy efficiency’s role in the sustainable future data centre

March 25, 2021
10:00

The EU recently stated in the EU Green Deal that data centres can and should be carbon neutral by 2030 and raised the prospect of forcing this through via regulatory change. Data centres have already made great strides to improve their energy efficiency, but there is much more to be done. Key to these recent gains have been strategies such as running data centres at higher temperatures, using virtualisation to cut down on the number of underutilised servers, improving efficiency of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and the use of frequency drives as opposed to dampers to control fan loads. Other factors have also contributed to keeping data centre power demand in check, for instance, servers, storage devices and infrastructures have become steadily more efficient. This talk reveals the tactical actions that can improve energy efficiency for data centres and the sector moves towards that carbon-neutral future.

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Emerging digital trends from artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality to the Internet of Things, made ICT ecosystems more latency sensitive and broadband connection become an essential part of our lives. Consequently, data centres are being pushed to the edge where computing is globally distributed to be closer to the end users. A globally distributed computing paradigm comes with new challenges for cooling and efficiency. Moreover, European Commission recently set a goal of making ICT infrastructures climate-neutral by 2030 therefore data centres and cooling systems are challenged to be smarter to keep up with energy efficiency measures. Artificial-Intelligence-Augmented Cooling System for Small Data Centres, ECO-Qube Project, aims to develop a state-of-the-art holistic management system to enhance energy efficiency and cooling performance by orchestrating both hardware and software components in edge computing applications.
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It’s no secret that the data center industry wastes a lot of power in the way of standby power. For many years IT has worked to increase resiliency throughout the application stack and payload to both workaround outages and provide additional functionality and orchestration. Edge data centers are expected to carry the lion’s share of compute by 2025 with some estimates stating that up to 75 per cent of all data will be processed in edge environments. This opens up a whole new world for microgrids, resilient distributed compute and functionality increasing the efficiency of the data world. This session will discuss some of the efficiency gains to be had at the edge.
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Genuine energy efficiency in the data centre is elusive. We tend to focus exclusively on PUE as a proxy but of course this is not a measure of overall data centre energy efficiency. What should we be looking at instead and where should the real focus be? Is it the building that is the issue or the load it supports? How do we demonstrate to potential regulators that we are doing the right things, following appropriate guidelines, and minimising our energy consumption? This session will discuss these topics and more to iron out a few misconceptions, answer some of the questions posed and hopefully stimulate responses that can improve the way we address this issue, both as individuals and as a sector.
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Energy efficiency is crucial for data centers, particularly as more tenants are adapting sustainability goals or attempting to be entirely carbon neutral in coming years. This discussion will highlight certain techniques for maximizing efficiency in the data center environment and what is most important for colocation clientele. Join Kevin Imboden along with Prof. Poh Seng Lee from the National University of Singapore and Arnold Murphy, CEO, Strategic Clean Technology for this exciting panel discussion.
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