Em­pow­er­ing Data Cen­ters

It’s all about power re­li­a­bil­ity and avail­abil­ity when it comes to data cen­ters in In­dia. Over the last decade, the global in­dus­try has strived for sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in over­all data cen­ter ef­fi­ciency through im­ple­ment­ing a ‘Green Data Cen­ter’

Dataquest - - C9ONTENTS - (The au­thor is Co-Founder of DCD Hold­ings)

Ev­ery­one knows that one of the largest cost driv­ers for the data cen­ter in­dus­try is the cost of power. It takes huge amounts of elec­tric­ity to power and cool a data cen­ter, so when it comes to data cen­ters in In­dia it is re­ally im­por­tant the in­dus­try strives to im­prove power ef­fi­ciency, re­li­a­bil­ity, and avail­abil­ity for cur­rent and fu­ture data cen­ter stock.

Cur­rently, the con­tin­ued lack of avail­abil­ity of re­li­able power sup­ply is not do­ing In­dia jus­tice when it comes to its at­trac­tive­ness as a lo­ca­tion for data cen­ters. Presently a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of data cen­ters in In­dia rely on backup en­ergy sources such as diesel gen­er­a­tors, in or­der to face the reg­u­lar power shut­down that can be around two to three hours daily. Thus, while lo­cat­ing a data cen­ter, the ser­vice provider needs to cal­cu­late the trade-off be­tween re­li­a­bil­ity and tar­iff re­forms in a state. Higher re­li­a­bil­ity typ­i­cally comes in states with higher en­ergy costs. Ris­ing en­ergy costs in­crease the data cen­ter op­er­a­tional

ex­penses. In power-deficit In­dia, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency can of­fer sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to data cen­ters in­clud­ing in­creased re­li­a­bil­ity of elec­tric­ity sup­ply, re­duc­tion in op­er­at­ing costs and an over­all en­hance­ment in operations.

In­dia has sig­nif­i­cant po­ten­tial for data cen­ter growth due to lots of fac­tors not least the coun­tries skilled la­bor force. How­ever, com­pa­nies need to find ways to mit­i­gate risks re­lated to power re­li­a­bil­ity and power cost is­sues.

MEA­SUR­ING EN­ERGY EF­FI­CIENCY

Over the last decade, the global in­dus­try has strived for sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in over­all data cen­ter ef­fi­ciency through im­ple­ment­ing a ‘Green Data Cen­ter’ strat­egy. Look­ing at a com­pre­hen­sive en­ergy ef­fi­ciency as­sess­ment frame­work can have a di­rect im­pact on OPEX. All data cen­ter op­er­a­tors in In­dia, if they haven’t done so al­ready, should be de­vel­op­ing a frame­work for max­i­miz­ing the per­for­mance of their ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture as­sets and putting op­er­a­tional dis­ci­plines in place to main­tain them.

In­cor­po­rat­ing the most ad­vanced en­ergy ef­fi­ciency best prac­tices at the de­sign stage is cru­cial for new­com­ers and ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tors in the In­dian mar­ket. Com­par­ing sets of as­sess­ment data from each stage through the de­sign to op­er­a­tion of a data cen­ter can help the op­er­a­tor validate the in­te­gra­tion of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency mea­sures in the de­sign, and then as­sess these against the per­for­mance of the op­er­a­tional fa­cil­ity.

Ap­pli­ca­tions are in­creas­ingly be­com­ing “Geo Re­dun­dant’ with less risk of fail­ure be­ing placed on the un­der­ly­ing power in­fra­struc­ture. This abil­ity to mi­grate work­loads on the server side is now be­com­ing proven, re­duc­ing op­er­a­tor con­cerns about pro­tect­ing power-re­lated events for these geo-re­dun­dant ap­pli­ca­tions. This, com­bined with a grow­ing num­ber of more re­li­able larger sized data cen­ters, seems to be hav­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact on over­all sys­tems avail­abil­ity.

As a re­sult of the ad­vances in the ap­pli­ca­tion layer, in­cre­men­tal mar­ginal gains in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency can more eas­ily be achieved south of the rack. These are now be­ing con­sid­ered as the risk of ap­pli­ca­tion fail­ure re­duces.

KEY TAKE­AWAYS

Adop­tion of en­ergy-ef­fi­cient prac­tices can im­prove the global com­pet­i­tive­ness and sus­tain­abil­ity of data cen­ters in In­dia. Pre­vi­ous stud­ies have con­cluded that ad­vance­ment of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency stan­dards through pol­icy and reg­u­la­tory mech­a­nisms is the fastest path to ac­cel­er­ate the adop­tion of en­ergy ef­fi­cient prac­tices. This is not dif­fer­ent in In­dia and the coun­try is gear­ing up to extend a set of con­trols and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions for data cen­ters that can help tackle the in­creas­ing global en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. These reg­u­la­tions and ac­cred­i­ta­tions will hope­fully as­sist data cen­ters to adopt best prac­tices for bet­ter en­ergy-ef­fi­cient, ef­fec­tive and ro­bust in­fra­struc­ture. Un­for­tu­nately, it is not look­ing like these ac­cred­i­ta­tions will be legally manda­tory for a data cen­ter in In­dia, but will clearly add value if data cen­ters choose to adopt them. Be­ing op­er­a­tionally ef­fi­cient and adopt­ing best prac­tices from an en­ergy ef­fi­ciency per­spec­tive is just one side of the PUE equa­tion. Re­mov­ing ‘co­matose’ servers and re­dun­dant IT as­sets is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent challenge but cer­tainly, one that In­dian com­pa­nies should con­sider ex­plor­ing, but that’s a whole other dis­cus­sion.

Adop­tion of en­ergy-ef­fi­cient prac­tices can im­prove the global com­pet­i­tive­ness and sus­tain­abil­ity of data cen­ters in In­dia In­cor­po­rat­ing the most ad­vanced en­ergy ef­fi­ciency best prac­tices at the de­sign stage is cru­cial for new­com­ers and ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tors in the In­dian mar­ket

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