Today businesses need robust data centers to support their operations. Data centers provide the necessary computing, storage, and networking capabilities. However, as anyone who has been around the industry knows, these services require a lot of energy. Here’s a look at the top five green data center trends.
Efficiency, AI and More Ways Data Centers are Saving on Power
According to the United States Data Center Energy Report, US data centers are expected to consume approximately 73 billion kWh in 2020. Besides energy costs, data center managers and owners are also considering the environmental impact of their facilities, so many are looking for ways to create energy-efficient or green data centers. In particular, cloud providers are investing a lot in energy efficiency, resulting in rapid growth of this sector. The green data center market is expected to see revenue of over 25 billion dollars by 2024.
Here are some of the trends that are helping data centers to become more energy efficient:
Improved Equipment Efficiency
Data center managers are ensuring they have the most energy-efficient equipment. In the past, high hardware costs meant that IT managers paid more attention to the price when purchasing new servers or network equipment. However, as hardware becomes cheaper, it makes sense to invest in more energy-efficient servers and network gears. This will help data centers be more cost-effective in the long run.
Virtualization of Servers
Often, data centers were wasting resources. IT Managers didn't put multiple applications on the same server to avoid OS environment conflicts. It meant applications, regardless of size or complexity, had to be put on individual servers. Even though a tiny application might not use all the available processors or storage space, it can still hold the entire server hostage. Previously, there wasn’t an efficient way to use the hardware, but virtualization has changed that. Now green data centers are relying on virtualization to put multiple applications on a single server without wasting CPUs or storage. It means data centers can run more applications with less equipment.
Better Data Center Maintenance
Data center maintenance requires experience and discipline. Most managers start with a basic maintenance plan. However, as higher priority tasks begin to pour in, these plans get discarded. For example, every year data centers waste energy due to unused equipment. According to an Anthesis Group report, 30% of enterprise servers were not performing any tasks. Rather, they were consuming energy. As a result, green data centers are using more audits and checks to remove unused or comatose “zombie” servers.
Use of Artificial Intelligence
Green data centers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve energy efficiency. A huge chunk of data center energy is spent on cooling systems. Naturally, finding the most efficient way to cool a data center can pay dividends. However, there are so many variables such as location, cooling system type, number of windows, the distance between server racks and more, that it’s extremely difficult for a human to consider all factors. However, Google has found a way to solve the problem. The search giant is using deep learning, a branch of AI, to improve energy savings of Google data centers by 40 percent. The deep learning algorithm learns through trial and error. Due to the high return on investment of using AI, more data centers are likely to employ AI-based cooling systems.
More Use of Renewable Energy
Green data centers are also seeking out renewable energy sources. They are finding more ways to use wind and solar power. For example, Facebook is building a 970,000 square foot data center in Utah that will use 100 percent renewable energy. Google has made a similar investment of $700 million in a green energy data center in Denmark.
Green Data Centers are the Future!
The explosive growth of data center services will keep fueling the need for green data centers. The industry can save money and ensure better environmental results through improving their facilities. So, the overall trend is that the next generation of data centers will continue to become more energy-efficient.