Data centres are the foundation on which the modern digital world has been built. Their importance is highlighted by the fact that there is a scarcely a corner of our society they haven’t touched. Furthermore, the growing use of mobile terminal devices and the increasing amount of available data means that data centres will continue to grow in size and scale for the foreseeable future.
But large-scale data centres of cloud and co-location providers consume a huge amount of energy – in the double-digit megawatt range. It’s not surprising, therefore, that data centres around the world are collectively responsible for a growing share of global CO2 emissions.
In fact, it is predicted that the IT industry’s share of worldwide CO2 emissions will virtually double in less than 20 years, from 1.3% in 2002 to 2.3% in 2020 (source: The Global e-Sustainability Initiative).
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is therefore an imperative for the industry, and of course by increasing energy efficiency and therefore reducing CO2 emissions, data centre operators should be able to significantly reduce their energy costs. Together, these twin outcomes can provide a competitive advantage for companies with a Green IT Policy as Google and Apple and others are demonstrating.
Measuring the efficiency of the data centre can be done through a series of metrics, the most important of which include energy consumption, CO2 emissions and also sustainable water use.
Metrics can also be helpfully employed to compare the performance of individual components and processes within the data centre which means that it is possible to get an accurate measure of the solutions offered by a variety of suppliers.
Rittal has just published a white paper Metrics in IT and Data Centre Technology which provides a detailed summary of the most important metrics currently recommended for the IT infrastructures of data centres.
The White Paper, which provides the necessary formulae and calculations behind each metric, also makes clear that individually they would not be sufficient to build up an accurate picture and that data centre operators need to define an appropriate set of different parameters that are tailored for their particular applications. By continuously recording data, benchmarking performance, and analysing trends, operators can identify how to ensure their data centres function efficiently and sustainably.
Metrics in IT and Data Centre Technology can be downloaded free of charge from the Rittal website www.rittal.com/whitepaper. Further information about Rittal can be found at www.rittal.co.uk and www.friedhelm-loh-group.com or on twitter @rittal_ltd