Power Hungry: Data Centers' Growing Energy Demands

Data facilities have become an indispensable part of contemporary computing infrastructures. With a growing number of organizations turning for cloud solutions, colocation services, and compliance assurances to them, it’s not surprising that the amount of data centers is expected to grow significantly within the next two to five decades.
With so many new info centers around the horizon, it’s well worth thinking about the unpleasant realities of data center energy consumption. Even with innovative improvements in energy options, the truth of the matter that both small and large data centers have a LOT of power.
In 2020, US established data centers alone used up over 90 billion kilowatt-hours of power. To give some perspective on how much it might take 34 massive coal-powered plants generating 500 megawatts each to equal the power demands of these data centers. On a worldwide scale, data centers electricity consumption or roughly three percent of all electricity generated on the planet. For instance, data center energy consumption across the globe equates more than all the energy consumed by the United Kingdom.

How data centre works

That’s a lot of power. And it’s only going to increase in the long run as more facilities are built each year. With 80% of the world’s energy being produced from fossil fuels, those power needs could become an issue. Fortunately, while maintaining their energy use data center providers are working tirelessly to fit the needs of customers. Between 2010 and 2005, uk colocation energy use grew by 24 percent. The past five years were worse, with energy usage increasing by almost 90 percent from 2000 to 2005. However from 2010 to 2014, total data center energy consumption rose by a four percent. A 2005 Uptime Institute report found that many data centers were badly organized that just 40 percent of chilly air intended for server racks actually reached them despite the fact that the centers had installed 2.6 times as much cooling capability since they needed. Since that time, data centre energy efficiency has improved by as much as 80 percent through using solid state drives and chips instead of drives that are spinning.

Improvements in server technologies, specifically host virtualization, has also delivered substantial improvements in data centre power consumption. Today’s servers are not just more powerful and effective, but information management methods have made it possible to use more of the total capacity of each server. Considering that the move to data centers effective at leveraging renewable energy alternatives has generated a spike in host spending, it is reassuring to know that centers will be getting everything they could from the hardware.
Consolidation also played a significant part in keeping power demands under control. With the rapid rise of cloud computing, organizations have increasingly abandoned private data centers and server closets in favor of on-demand or colocation services. Since the majority of these solutions ran on legacy hardware that was ineffective and energy-hungry, exporting their IT infrastructure centers really been shown to be a positive in terms of efficiency.

Looking to the Future

Unfortunately, these efficiency improvements signify”low-hanging fruit” that has already been plucked. The simplest and efficacy changes have been implemented, causing the efficiency trend to flatten in the past couple of decades. Google, for example, boasts an impressive PUE of 1.11 across its information centers worldwide, which is just slightly off the perfect score of 1.0. It does little to address data center power consumption, which continues to grow, while this score is an accomplishment.
It’s not yet clear what impact developments like Web of Things (IoT) devices and edge computing will have on power use. When measuring data center consumption, designed edge data centers will incorporate efficiency practices, however because most IoT devices aren’t physically located in data centres, they frequently aren’t taken into account.
Many data centers have made a commitment to sustainable energy options by turning into sources of renewable power. Even though the current nature of renewable energy in the US makes it hard for data center providers to rely upon it as a primary source of energy, there are a number of ways, like the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), it can be employed to supplement energy should improve the general carbon footprint of centers.

Data centre power consumption details:

There is also good reason to be hopeful that unexpected technological solutions wait just above the horizon. Despite all the developments of the century core principles of calculating structure have gone unchanged since their creation decades ago. Processors, for example, are becoming stronger and smaller, but they still operate according to the same principles as their bulkier and slower ancestors. Today the reverse is true, where their transistors were much slower compared to the wires connecting them. Many experts believe we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible.
Though data centre power consumption will be a problem in the future, the twin trends of consolidation and efficacy practices have greatly reduced the total effect of these facilities. Where data centers were expected to push energy demands to unsustainable levels, developments in data center energy efficiency during the last decade have created a chance to research and execute more long term solutions that will continue to enable data centers to serve the needs of the companies and customers who depend upon their solutions.