Intelligent Data Centres Issue 43 | Page 21


How to improve performance in the data centre

Simon Harris , Head of Critical Infrastructure at BCS ( Business Critical Solutions ), explores how organisations can improve the performance of their data centres and meet the ever increasing economic , societal and legislative demands .

As the world increasingly turns its attention to the action required to limit the damage being done to the environment by human activity , the data centre sector is getting to grips with the role it must play in reducing carbon emissions . Energy consumed by data centres is attracting more attention as a matter of concern , as global computing capacity continues to rapidly increase . Already , data centres use an estimated 200 terawatt hours ( TWh ) each year globally – more than the national energy consumption of some countries .

The stakes are high
By January 1 , 2030 , The Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact ( CNDCP ) requires signatories to make a binding commitment to achieve Power Use Effectiveness ( PUE ) of between 1.3 and 1.4 in sites built up to 2025 , reflecting the increased challenges of interventions within operational environments . Among these the older data centres will have often been constructed with PUEs of 2.0 or more . In their current form they could be significantly distant from the required standard and in breach of their owners ’ CNDCP commitments . They will also look increasingly unattractive to tenants pursuing socially responsible energy and carbon agendas .
With ambitious targets to be achieved it also begs the question that if our sector doesn ’ t get ahead of these targets , will the self-regulatory initiative become legislative and regulated ? We believe our sector is at a crossroads with one route being proactive , investing in new technologies , self-generation and looking at innovative storage solutions to reach climate neutral targets . The other route is having legislation and regulation imposed on us and having to react to the imposition of energy , water and emission targets that we have no influence over .
The challenges are most complex for the stock of data centres spread throughout Europe around 60 % of which are in excess of 18 years old . Consistent with buildings in other real estate sectors , there is a material and differentiated challenge in dealing with the existing stock of data centres built from the early noughties onwards which are either partially or fully occupied .
So how can organisations improve the performance of their data centres and meet the ever increasing economic , societal and legislative demands ?
Rebuilding is not always the best answer
From the outside , the simple response to this problem would be to demolish and www . intelligentdatacentres . com