The Future-The Optimized Data Center

The European Union (EU) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued voluntary guidelines to drive improved energy efficiency in data centers. The EU has issued their “Code of Conduct for Data Centers” and the EPA has issued their “Energy Star Rating for Data Centers.”

Additionally, in the U.S. there are fiscal incentives in the form of tax credits, improved capital allowances and utility rebates. These are designed to encourage investments in infrastructure assets that result in measurable and demonstrable improvements in energy efficiency. We will see an increase in the use of such incentives. Accordingly, CFDesign encourages IT and facilities management teams to engage tax consultants early in energy-efficiency projects to identify eligible and worthwhile opportunities.

We also anticipate that “Green” IT programs will become part of the overall sustainability program mix, particularly in organizations for which IT’s impact represents a material issue. Moreover, expect a greater degree of “external visibility” encompassing all direct and indirect stakeholders ranging from government organizations to public advocacy groups.

As computing workloads grow, and servers are packaged more densely, the need for more power and cooling capacity will continue to grow. Also, products housed within data centers will continue to develop increased heat loads. This can be seen in the adjacent figure showing equipment power density projections through 2014. This will increase the need for new technologies to mitigate these new power and cooling needs in order to keep corporate energy budgets in check, take advantage of government incentives, and to promote a public reputation as “good corporate citizen” in the new “Green” age.

Energy efficiency plans, such as the Europe’s Code of Conduct for Data Centers and the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star program, will continue to put pressure on improving energy efficiency, and many of the power and cooling technologies listed will be part of the solutions used. It’s reasonable to assume that this sort of voluntary code will spread to other nations such as Australia and India.