Power Hungry: Information Centers' Growing Energy Demands

Data centers have become an indispensable part of modern computing infrastructures. With a growing number of organizations turning to them for cloud solutions, colocation services, and compliance assurances, it’s not surprising that the amount of uk colocation is expected to grow significantly within the next two to five decades.
With numerous new data centers around the horizon, it’s worth considering the harsh realities of data center energy consumption. Even with innovative improvements in renewable energy solutions, the truth of the matter that both small and massive data centers have a great deal of power.
In 2020, US based info centers alone used up more than 90 billion kilowatt-hours of power. To give some perspective on how much electricity which amounts to, it would take 34 massive coal-powered plants producing 500 megawatts each to equal the energy demands of those data centers. On a global scale, data centers roughly three percent of electricity generated on the planet, or power consumption amounted to approximately 416 terawatts. For context, data center energy intake around the world equates more than all the energy absorbed an industrialized country with over 65 million people, by the United Kingdom.
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That’s a lot of power. And as more facilities are built each 17, it’s only likely to rise in the future. These ever-increasing power needs could develop into an issue, with fossil fuels still generating 80% of the world’s energy. Luckily, while keeping their energy use at reasonable 22, data center providers are working to fit the needs of consumers.

A Detailed Guide to Server Co-location

On the plus side, these massive data centre energy intake figures are much better than past projections. Between 2010 and 2005, US data center energy use grew by 24 percent. The past five years were worse, with energy use increasing by almost 90 percent from 2000 to 2005. However from 2010 to 2014 data center energy consumption grew by a four percentage. Researchers anticipate that growth rate to hold steady at least. The economies of scale offered by hyperscale data centres have pushed their Electricity Usage Effectiveness (PUE) scores lower than their smaller cousins, but smaller enterprise data centers also operate much more efficiently today than they did a decade ago. A 2005 Uptime Institute report found that many data centers were so badly organized that only 40 percent of chilly air meant for server racks really reached them in spite of the fact that the facilities had installed 2.6 times as much cooling capacity as they needed. Since that time, data center energy efficiency has improved by as much as 80 percent through using solid state drives and chips instead of hard drives that are turning.
Improvements in server technologies, especially server virtualization, has also delivered substantial improvements in data centre power consumption. The servers of today are not just powerful and efficient, but better data management methods have made it feasible to utilize more of the total capacity of each server. Considering that the move to big data centers capable of leveraging renewable energy alternatives has caused a spike in host spending, it’s reassuring to know that facilities will be receiving .
Consolidation also played an important role in keeping power needs under relative control. In favor of on-demand or colocation services, organizations have abandoned private data centers and server closets with the rise of cloud computing systems. As most of these solutions conducted on legacy hardware that was inefficient and energy-hungry, exporting their IT infrastructure centers actually proved to be a favorable concerning efficiency.

Looking to the Future

Unfortunately, these efficiency improvements represent”low-hanging fruit” that has already been plucked. The most easy and efficiency changes have been implemented, causing the overall efficiency trend to flatten in the past couple of decades. While this score is an undeniably laudable achievement, it does little to tackle data centre power consumption, which continues to grow.
It isn’t yet clear what effect developments like Web of Things (IoT) devices and edge computing will have on power usage. When measuring data centre consumption, designed border data centers will incorporate efficiency practices, however since most IoT devices aren’t physically located in data centres, they are not taken into consideration.
Many data centers have made a commitment to sustainable energy solutions by turning to sources of renewable power. Although the current nature of renewable power in the US makes it hard for data center providers to rely upon it as a key source of energy, there are a range of ways, such as the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), it may be employed to supplement energy needs to enhance the general carbon footprint of facilities.
There is also good reason to be hopeful that unexpected technological solutions delay just above the horizon. Despite all the developments of the century core fundamentals of computing structure have gone largely unchanged since their creation. Processors, for instance, have become smaller and more powerful, but they function according to the very same principles as their milder and slower ancestors. Now the opposite is true where their transistors were much slower than the wires connecting them. Many experts believe we’ve only scratched the surface of what is possible.
Though data centre power consumption will be an issue in the future, the twin trends of consolidation and efficiency practices have significantly reduced the total impact of these facilities. Where information centers were once expected to push energy needs to unsustainable levels, improvements in data center energy efficiency during the last decade have created an opportunity to investigate and implement long term solutions which will continue to enable data centers to serve the demands of the companies and consumers who rely upon their solutions.