Energy Efficiency Still a Data Center Concern

November 25, 2013 By William Opalka

Emerson Network Power logoData center energy costs and equipment efficiency again were the primary concern for data center managers in a survey by Emerson Network Power.

The fall installment of the biannual survey polled members of the Data Center Users’ Group (DCUG), an association of data center, IT and facility managers. More than 150 responded from across North America. Efficiency was also a top concern in a previous survey.

For the top three facility/network concerns, 44 percent of respondents cited energy efficiency, repeating a result from the spring survey. Availability (43 percent) and adequate monitoring and data center management (41 percent) were a close second and third, respectively. Heat density again caused concern.

The results show that data center managers continue to focus on optimizing efficiency and maintaining or increasing availability to meet growing demand, according to Emerson. Monitoring and data center infrastructure management tools are needed to plan for growth and support changes to the data center without compromising availability.

Growth is another predominant theme in the survey. While 28 percent reported no limiting factor on their organization’s ability to accommodate growth, 38 percent cited a lack of capital expenditure to either build new facilities or invest in infrastructure systems. When asked about equipment purchases for the next 12 months, 72 percent plan to purchase racks and cabinets, while 63 percent plan to upgrade or purchase monitoring software, and 43 percent and 41 percent plan to purchase cooling and UPS systems, respectively. Forty-one percent reported moving at least part of their operation to colocation or hosting providers.

Additional results include the following:

  • Fifty-three percent believe their existing data center capacity will suffice for three years or less.
  • Thirty-seven percent reported implementing rooftop air-handlers, while 28 percent have implemented evaporative cooling.
  • Fifty-six percent reported already implementing transformer-based UPS, while 21 percent have implemented transformer-free UPS.
  • The average power density per rack was 6.3 kW, up slightly from 5.9 kW in the Spring 2013 survey.
  • The top operational and efficiency-related metrics being measured in the data center are temperature (88 percent), power utilization (82 percent), humidity (66 percent) and cooling utilization (65 percent). Fifty-six percent of respondents currently measure power usage effectiveness (PUE).

One comment on “Energy Efficiency Still a Data Center Concern

  1. Due to climate in Afro Asian Country peak summer temperature are increased 4 to 5 degree.Design condition of AC system should be changed.
    Kisholoy Gupta,
    Energy Management Adviser
    Member AEE(USA).
    Energy management trainer

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