Intelligent Data Centres Issue 47 | Page 45

FEATURE FEATURE hen it comes to provisioning the IT on

W which all businesses rely , running costs and energy efficiency have long played a significant role in the decision-making processes . Recently , however , concerns around global warming and soaring energy costs have moved them to the top of the priority list . This , in turn , is causing CIOs across the board to fundamentally rethink the approach they take , particularly when it comes to the data centre where huge benefits are to be had on both counts .

The size of the problem
Estimates vary but according to the International Energy Agency ( and others ), data centres and their associated infrastructures account for around 1 % of global energy consumption . In EMEA alone that translates to over 90TWh per year , or enough to satisfy the domestic energy needs of a small country . Moreover , this figure carries with it an environmental impact equivalent to running almost 6 million vehicles .
Big numbers whichever way you look at them and which , in turn , mean that any action to reduce energy consumption would not only save businesses money but have a significant impact when it comes to climate change .
Data centre change
There are lots of ways of tackling this issue with some organisations , for example , abandoning their on-premise data centres altogether and moving to the cloud . That , however , doesn ’ t necessarily save on running costs . Indeed , many businesses find it more expensive compared to running an on-premise data centre , and with none of the budgetary certainty of an on-premise facility . Neither does it address the climate issues , it just makes them somebody else ’ s problem .
Of course , the cloud has other benefits besides , but the data centre looks like it ’ s here to stay for some time albeit with changes to the operational model to deliver the benefits of cloud computing at a lower cost in terms of energy and emissions . Indeed , that change
is already happening with growing numbers moving from traditional threetier architectures ( servers + storage + networks ) towards next-generation models , in particular hyperconverged infrastructures ( HCI ), which most analysts agree is the best and most expedient way of reducing data centre energy consumption and carbon footprint .
The reason for that assertion is down to the way hyperconverged models work by distributing computing power and storage across low-cost commodity hardware platforms , linking them with software and using virtualisation to provide an easily scaled and managed operational whole . A mature technology with a number of different HCI platforms available , here are the expected benefits in terms of energy consumption and climate change of switching from three-tier to HCI models :
• Measurable benefits could be achieved across a range of organisations from small businesses through big enterprises to the largescale hyperscalers and managed service providers .
• In comparison to traditional three-tier IT platforms , next-generation HCI architectures could potentially reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint by up to 27 % per year .
• Across the EMEA region , HCI transformation has the potential to reduce energy consumption by 56.7 TWh and cut emissions by 14.2 million tonnes of CO ² e over the period 2022 – 2025 .
Samer Labaky , Manager , Enterprise and Public Sector Accounts , UAE and Oman at Nutanix www . intelligentdatacentres . com