Data centre space, power and cooling together with dealing with growing storage requirements are the most significant challenges facing data centres in the coming year according to a Gartner Survey 2012 published in Institute of Engineering and Technology Magazine. With a 10MW data centre having equivalent energy requirements to a small town – energy efficiency is a massive deal.
Every time somebody uploads a picture on to Facebook (and this happens 70,000 times every minute) the action can be traced to a server located in a rack located in a data centre somewhere in the world. For every watt of power that server uses another watt will be generated. Cold aisle containment is an important tool in the data centre operators’ armoury to conserve energy. If the cold air essential for the operation of the servers is contaminated by the hot air that they expel more will have to be spent on cooling and when you are looking at energy demands equivalent to a small town – it could be seen as similar to everyone leaving their freezer doors open. The need for cool air has driven data centre operators to the likes of Iceland and Finland which thanks to their cooling climate now have thriving data centre sectors.
Whether in Iceland or England, cold aisle containment keeps the cool and warm air in a data centre separate. Specialist data centre division Cross-Guard, part of the Bradbury Group, offer a number of cold aisle containment solutions that can be new build or retrofitted.
Data centres are at the heart our digital economy supporting digital datacommunications worldwide from high finance to Facebook. As this global digital economy continues to grow with for example the recent explosion in social and business networking – so too are the energy demands placed upon data centres. Next time you tweet or send an email it is worth bearing in mind the energy implications of this seemingly innocuous activity.