DC Power Consumption may spiral out of control

BroadGroup has announced the launch of the second annual Power and Cooling Survey 2007, to coincide with the major international Power and Cooling conference taking place in London 4-5 October 2007. The report warns that as overall power consumption is rising, as more space is taken up with IT equipment, power costs will become the single most important factor in Data Centre operating costs if nothing is done.

At the same time, the report noted that since 2006, the incidence of carbon concerns had increased. The report notes that a number of smaller providers have entered the market with a “carbon-neutral” Data Centre offer as a form of differentiation. Data Centre companies who are making the carbon neutral factor a central part of their sales proposition include Carrier Neutral Data Centre provider Evoswitch in the Netherlands and managed service provider Centrinet’s Smart Bunker complex in the UK.

However the main concern expressed across all companies surveyed is the soaring cost of energy and the reduction of energy usage and adoption of green policies is now a top priority in the IT environment. Yet what was once considered a solution, blade servers are typically running at below full capacity with no more than 20 blades being put into a rack due to the limitations of cooling in the Data Centre.

The survey documents the most common actions used to create a greener Data Centre facility. It also methodically assessing an array of current and new power and cooling technologies, the survey captures the most important developments in progress providing useful summaries to support the formulation of management strategies.

For the moment however, the survey concludes that it is unlikely that a standard Data Centre design will be able to improve on the 1 unit of power to 0.6 cooling ratio unless there is a change in technology. Yet new types of energy storage and power hold the promise of further efficiency gains once their commercial potential can be proven.