Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Emerging markets are adopting data centre bad habits

imageThe 2012 DatacenterDynamics Industry Census, released yesterday, reports that global investment in data centres is up over 22% on last year to $105bn, and this is projected to grow by another 14.5% to $120bn in the next year.

The Census surveyed more than 3,000 end users from around the world and about 2,000 vendors focussed on the data centre space.

Apparently, much of this growth is in the facilities management and mechanical and electrical sectors, which includes switchgear, uninterruptible power supplies, generators and cooling equipment. This overshadows growth seen in spend on IT equipment. Much of this growth is also driven by less developed markets, especially in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions.

There should be more on the Census here (although it doesn’t seem to have been updated from last year yet). You can find out more about the UK version of the report here.


Review:  The increase in data centre investment is not really a surprise – emerging economies are bound to want to invest to build their IT infrastructure as economies grow. But you would hope that they would be learning from best practice elsewhere. 

I haven’t seen the report in detail, but the implications of the above (taken from a DatacenterDynamics blog) are that the emerging markets are actually adopting bad habits in data centre construction.

The main growth driver is emerging markets such as Asia Pacific and Latin America, but much of the money is going into non-IT equipment. It suggests that these data centres will have relatively high Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratios, i.e. the ratio of total power use to IT power use will be high.

In more ‘developed’ economies the focus has been on reducing this ratio through things like the use of external cooling, so cutting down on the power, and cost, of running chillers 24 hours a day.

It seems to me that there is work to be done within the industry to help and support these fast-growing markets to adopt the sort of practices that have helped make data centres in more developed economies greener. These ‘emerging’ economies will become the majority in the future, so the sooner they focus on more sustainable data centres the better.

© The Green IT Review

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