Managing consumption and carbon footprint driving trends toward regulation, standardization, and the search for generator alternatives
November 11, 2022– Data centers will experience increased regulation and third-party oversight in 2023 as the world continues to grapple with the industry’s rising energy and water consumption against the backdrop of ongoing climate change. The intensified focus on the overall environmental and community impact of the data center is one of five industry trends for 2023 identified by the global data center experts at Vertiv (NYSE: VRT), a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions.
“The data center industry is growing rapidly as more and more applications require compute and storage, driving a corresponding rapid increase in energy and water use in data center facilities. The industry has understood that pursuing energy and water efficiency aggressively is key for future success and survival,” said Giordano Albertazzi, Vertiv Chief Operating Officer and president, Americas. “Increased regulation is inevitable and will lead to important innovations across our industry. The process may not always be easy or linear, but it can be navigated with the help of expert data center partners and innovative solutions that can anticipate the changes while meeting the always increasing requirements of the data center applications.”
The advances in chip design and manufacturing that limited server power consumption through the first decade and a half of the 2000s reached their limits in recent years, and a spike in the amount of energy servers use has followed. In a recent report, Silicon heatwave: the looming change in data center climates, the Uptime Institute cited data from the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) that showed server power consumption increasing by 266% since 2017. This surge is among various technical and market forces driving the focus on environmental awareness and sustainability in several of the 2023 trends identified by Vertiv’s experts. Those trends are:
Data centers face increasing regulation
Mounting pressures to meet consumer demand for energy and water are forcing governments at all levels to take a harder look at data centers and their outsized consumption of those resources. Data centers are estimated to be responsible for up to 3% of global electricity consumption today and projected to touch 4% by 2030. The average hyperscale facility consumes 20-50MW annually – theoretically enough electricity to power up to 37,000 homes. Vertiv’s experts expect this to prompt increasing governmental scrutiny in 2023.
It’s happening in some places already. Dublin, Ireland, and Singapore have taken steps to control data center energy use, and massive data center water consumption – especially in areas prone to drought – is likely to trigger similar scrutiny. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the water usage effectiveness (WUE) of an average data center using evaporative cooling systems is 1.8L per kWh. That type of data center can consume 3-5 million gallons of water per day – similar to the capacity used by a city of 30,000-50,000 people. The industry will continue to take steps to self-monitor and moderate – including an increasing preference for environmentally-friendly thermal designs – but 2023 will see increases in regulatory oversight.
Hyperscalers and others shop off the rack
According to a recent Omdia survey, 99% of enterprise data center operators say prefabricated, modular data center designs will be a part of their future data center strategy. That’s more than a trend; it’s the new normal. In 2023, Vertiv’s experts anticipate a continuing shift in the same direction among hyperscalers as they seek the speed and efficiencies standardization delivers.
This is a newer concept for the world’s leading cloud providers, and they’re turning to colocation providers – who have been standardizing for years – to make it happen. Specifically, those cloud providers are outsourcing their new builds to colos to leverage their in-market expertise, proven repeatability, and speed of deployment. In short order, standardization – ranging from modular components, such as power and cooling modules and skids, to full-fledged prefabricated facilities – will become the default approach not just for the enterprise, but also hyperscale and the edge of the network.
Diesel generators see real competition
The diesel generator has long been an imperfect but inescapable piece of the data center ecosystem. It represents stored energy that largely goes unused while still requiring maintenance or fuel replacement after periods of inactivity. Then, when pressed into service, generators produce carbon emissions operators are desperately trying to avoid. Already, some organizations are relying on batteries for longer load support – up to five minutes in some cases – and even designing their data centers with minimal generator capacity.
These are transitional steps to minimize the role of the generator as the industry searches for other options – including new battery technologies – for extended backup power. In 2023, Vertiv’s experts anticipate a preferred alternative will emerge – specifically hydrogen fuel cells. These fuel cells will function much like a generator at first, providing momentary load support, and eventually hold promise for sustained or even continuous operation.
Higher densities alter thermal strategies
After years of relatively static rack densities, data center operators are increasingly requesting higher-density racks. According to the Uptime Institute’s 2022 Global Data Center Survey, more than a third of data center operators say their rack densities have rapidly increased in the past three years. This is especially true among larger enterprise and hyperscale data centers, where nearly half of those operating facilities at 10MW and above reported racks above 20kW and 20% claimed racks higher than 40kW.
This is consistent with the maturity of liquid-cooled server technologies and increasing acceptance and adoption of such technologies. The aforementioned increases in server power consumption are happening as the need to add capacity quickly is growing, challenging operators from all sides. This leaves them little choice but to explore the boundaries of existing facilities by adding computing in tight spaces, increasing rack densities, and creating thermal profiles that require liquid cooling. While liquid cooling is not a new technology, the early wave of successful, efficient, problem-free deployments in high-density environments has provided proof of concept that will boost adoption in the coming year. The addition of direct-to-chip cooling to new OCP and Open19 standards will only accelerate this trend.
Page Break5G meets the metaverse at the edge
Omdia, in its 2022 Mobile Subscription and Revenue Forecast, projects nearly half of all mobile subscriptions – more than 5.8 billion – to be 5G by 2027, pushing computing closer and closer to the user. The metaverse is an application in search of an ultra-dense, low-latency computing network. In 2023, we’ll see these two activities intersect, with metaverse implementations leveraging 5G networks to enable the ultra-low latency features the application demands. Ultimately, this will require higher powered computing in those 5G edge locations, and we’ll see that happening soon – with early forays in 2023 followed by more widespread deployments in the years after. As the edge of the network becomes more sophisticated, so will the infrastructure needed to support it. This will include technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality planning and management systems and increased adoption of lithium-ion UPS systems at the edge – an ongoing trend that saw share increase from 2% of sales in August 2021 to 8% in August 2022, according to IDC.
For more information on 2023 industry trends and Vertiv solutions for data center and communication networks, visit Vertiv.com.
Vertiv Unveils Thermal Management Optimization Service To Help Data Center Operators Achieve Energy Savings in Asia
The Vertiv™ EnerSav offering identifies areas for energy saving improvements without the need for a major infrastructure overhaul
Vertiv (NYSE: VRT), a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, today unveiled the Vertiv™ EnerSav, a data center optimization service that helps operators identify cost saving opportunities within their critical facilities by reducing energy consumption without the need for a major infrastructure overhaul. The service is available throughout Asia, including Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
The Vertiv EnerSav optimization service is a low-risk, economic, and environmentally-efficient service offering for data centers and server rooms. It is done with the help and guidance of highly-trained Vertiv service engineers, who will conduct a detailed on-site assessment and gap analysis report of the data center’s cooling infrastructure, highlighting potential energy savings and return on investment calculations.
After comprehensive analysis of collected data, Vertiv engineers will recommend the appropriate thermal management strategy— either computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit optimization, hotspot elimination through hot/cold aisle containment, or air flow management. Then they will assist operators with solution deployment in the existing facility. Lastly, a detailed reporting on energy usage and reduction will be presented to show how the strategy and solutions carried out address the gaps identified in the initial analysis.
One of the solutions that help achieve energy savings within the data center cooling system is the Vertiv™ Liebert® iCOM-S, a data visualization software that provides facility and data center management teams with advanced thermal management monitoring and control. It helps to reduce energy costs by using advanced algorithms but with a simplified user interface for ease of use.
For heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and chillers, Vertiv utilizes the External Digital Demand Response Technology or EDD-RT. The EDD-RT is an energy management device that combines IoT and AI technologies to reduce electricity consumption and maximize efficiency of chilled water systems without impact on the facility’s preset conditions. The EDD-RT maintains, then enhances, the manufacturer’s design characteristics, utilizing live energy consumption patterns to optimize energy consumption.
“Cooling has historically been one of the biggest energy consumers within a data center facility. Through the Vertiv™ EnerSav optimization service, we will help our customers achieve energy savings, potentially without the need to overhaul their entire facility. This is a practical, cost-effective way to optimize their facility for better performance,” said Chris Mandahl, senior director, services and project management at Vertiv Asia. “The goal of Vertiv EnerSav is to help our customers reduce data center costs by improving the operating efficiencies of cooling equipment within their critical infrastructure. It addresses key optimization challenges, such as increasing the cooling capacity and extending the operational life of existing equipment, reducing maintenance costs, and providing an optimially efficient site thermal management setup, all with the prime objective of reducing the data center’s monthly electric bill.”
To know more about the Vertiv EnerSav and other services, visit Vertiv.com.
Vertiv Energy Efficient Infrastructure Data Center Technologies
Vertiv underscores commitment to ESG goals at annual partner summit
Vertiv (NYSE: VRT), a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, held the Asia Channel Summit 2023 from July 24 to 26 at the Grand Hyatt Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia. The summit theme, Experience Vertiv: Technology Through Impact Solutions, focused on energy-efficient data center infrastructure solutions that support customers’ sustainability strategies. The summit hosted more than 200 attendees across Asia to experience how Vertiv’s wide range of data center and IT solutions support the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals of organizations.
“This year, we took the Asia Channel Summit as an opportunity to recognize and connect with all our valued partners in the region, while helping them experience how Vertiv creates long-term, positive impact on businesses, society, and the environment. Our partners play a crucial role in expanding the reach of Vertiv solutions, which help companies achieve their sustainability goals regarding energy and water efficiency,” said Daniel Sim, senior director for channel business at Vertiv Asia.
A highlight of the plenary session was a key partner presentation on how collaboration can drive leading-edge technologies and business growth to end customers. Jacinta Quah, vice president, Infrastructure Solutions Group at Dell Technologies, shared with the delegates how Vertiv solutions contributed to the success of its data center project for a licensed wealth management company. “The symbiotic partnership with Vertiv and the Dell relationship with the customer and partner was the key winning point,” said Quah.
The delegates also had a tour at the Vertiv Experience Center situated in the event premises, to discover more about the latest Vertiv offerings, including power management solutions, rack uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, IT monitoring solutions, thermal management solutions, and integrated solutions like Vertiv™ SmartCabinet™, Vertiv™ SmartRow™ 2, and Vertiv™ SmartAisle™ 2.
A unique activity of this annual summit was a community outreach activity in partnership with a local school. Vertiv staff and partners accompanied more than 60 students for a day tour at Bali Safari and Marine Park for fun and educational activities. The group also donated English reading/activity books to support their basic education requirements.
During the gala dinner, thirty-six outstanding partners were recognized for their significant sales and business development achievements in 2022. It also featured classic Balinese sand art entertainment, providing a visual emphasis of the potential of technology and innovation to drive environmentally-responsible
Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), are expected to drive data center growth and influence design deployments for current and future facilities, Sim remarked in his partners’ address, “AI and data are the future. The next wave of digital transformation is going to involve all of us. Vertiv will continue to be among the key enablers of this transformation and we invite our partners to be part of this journey.”
Learn more about Vertiv’s products and partner program at Partners.Vertiv.com.
Future-Proof the Network: Strategies for ISPs to Prevent Infrastructure Downtime
It is no wonder how internet connectivity has changed our world because it has streamlined processes in every industry. Now, internet service providers (ISPs) find themselves at the forefront of the race to continuously provide faster speeds and seamless connectivity for people.
However, this does not come easy, as Filipinos continue to express dissatisfaction with the almost normalized cases of internet interruption in the country. A bill was even filed in the Senate, proposing amendments to Section 20 of the Public Telecommunications Policy Act. Senate Bill 2074 seeks to require public telecommunication entities (PTEs) to refund subscribers for telecommunication and internet service outages and disruptions. It also aims to ensure that consumers get their money’s worth for the internet services they have availed themselves.
Jason Lim, Country Manager at Vertiv Philippines, acknowledges this challenge for ISPs. “Internet service providers bear the huge responsibility of spearheading the prevention of infrastructure downtime and ensuring uninterrupted services for their consumers. But that does not mean these repeated cases of internet interruption and outages will persist. It is high time for ISPs to address this growing concern before it becomes detrimental to users and their services,” Lim said.
To fortify the network against disruptions and future-proof their infrastructure, Vertiv shares some key measures that ISPs can consider implementing:
Create proactive capacity planning. ISPs must ensure their networks can handle the growing bandwidth demand. Conducting network capacity planning allows ISPs to assess network utilization, identify performance chokepoints, and manage traffic volumes effectively. This ensures service availability for end-users and decreases degraded network performance.
Proper planning for maintenance and updates. ISPs cannot avoid conducting service updates and scheduled maintenance to keep their infrastructure up-to-date and provide the best solutions to users. However, they should plan the maintenance effectively and should not affect the network’s reliability. ISPs should also provide transparency reports to end-users and strive to complete all maintenance activities within the given timeframe.
Scale up data centers to accommodate growing demand. Scaling up data centers is essential for ISPs to minimize infrastructure downtime. This involves expanding data center capacity and capabilities to meet the growing storage, processing power, and connection demands. Scaling up allows ISPs to accommodate the increasing data traffic, enhance redundancy for better backup, improve cooling and power infrastructure, upgrade connectivity, and embrace advanced technologies.
One of the measures they can take to scale up is to invest in an adequate uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Vertiv offers the Vertiv™ Liebert® APM Plus, a modular high-density transformer-free UPS with exceptional features for mission-critical applications. Its modular and scalable configuration and its double conversion efficiency ensure operational cost savings, reducing the total cost of ownership and the environmental impact. It also saves space by up to 50% over legacy systems and is fully compatible with today’s critical IT loads, which is vital for ISPs to meet the demands of users.
Prepare a robust disaster recovery plan. Unforeseen disasters, such as natural calamities or cyber-attacks, can severely impact an ISP’s infrastructure. While ISPs cannot avoid them entirely, they can prevent such events from affecting their operations by having a solid disaster recovery (DR) plan. Internet providers should invest in reliable software, hardware, and third-party services to maintain infrastructure uptime.
Indeed, ensuring a robust and reliable internet infrastructure is imperative in today’s world. ISPs must address the issue of internet interruption and outages by implementing these proactive measures. The demand for faster speeds and seamless connectivity continues to escalate, and ISPs must rise to the challenge. Failure to do so affects consumer satisfaction and impedes progress in all industries.
And as Architects of Continuityä, Vertiv is here to help scale up internet connectivity and build a resilient internet ecosystem. The company equips solutions for service providers by offering cutting-edge, sustainable, and innovative solutions to drive economic growth.
To learn more about how Vertiv supports the continuity of today’s vital business, visit Vertiv.com.
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