It is great to see that energy supply is now rightly at the top of the corporate agenda. My thoughts have been confirmed by a study of IT managers which found that 71 per cent rated data centre energy efficiency as the top priority when choosing a data centre, compared with just 34 per cent five years ago.
With a backdrop of rising electricity costs – and indeed competition for tenants heating up – it’s never been more important for data centre managers to make energy efficiency their top priority across all aspects of the data centre. However, it will be harder for some than others.
The likes of Microsoft, Google and Facebook all have the budgets to strategically place their data centres in naturally cooler, more rural environments that are close to renewable energy sources such as methane gas and wind. But despite this shift in energy awareness, there is still a high demand for data centres to be within close proximity to urban areas as they tend to be more accessible and have better data sovereignty.
With nuclear power across Europe being the most important source of power production in the run up to 2020, data centres around Europe will soon become reliant on a mix of different power sources. Ofgem also highlighted another difficulty, warning that electricity supplies are set to tighten over the current decade and at a faster pace than was originally expected. They have further highlighted the potential for power cuts to increase within the UK during this time frame. A real dedication to cutting energy consumption will take time, but with this shift in awareness means that we will start to see big changes.
This will undoubtedly result in data centre managers and operators having to continue to face the age old challenges of providing tenants with access to a secure and low-cost power supply. But despite these challenges, data centre managers of smaller firms will still need to think about what is going on a rack level in the data centre and how to make the most of resources they have to hand. Going green is the direction everyone is heading in.
Ultimately, it is great to see that renewable energy is at the forefront of the data centre industry’s mind and that executives are starting to really focus on the green issue. But regardless of where power is coming from, data centre managers need to make sure that every