It is estimated that due to new people connecting to the internet, an increased demand for more and higher quality data, and an increase in smartphone activity, internet traffic in the UK and worldwide will grow significantly. As the volume of traffic increases, so will our need for data centres to process and store data. While reliability and speed of access to data will remain the major concerns for those involved with data centres, energy efficiency and ICT sustainability are increasing as a priority.
Most companies have server and data storage equipment, whether hosted internally or offsite. But how many companies are aware of the amount of energy their IT equipment consumes or what it is costing annually? And how many companies know how to obtain the information required to make a business case for energy efficiency upgrades, which could save on annual operating costs and reduce carbon emissions?
National and international research on data centre energy efficiency has highlighted a lack of clear and consistently accepted metrics or means of measuring, reporting and comparing the energy efficiency of data centres as a whole. Without such metrics to benchmark performance, it is impossible to compare the energy efficiency of one data centre with another.
As the UK’s economy becomes increasingly dependent upon information for delivery of online services and governance of major organisations, commercial Data Centres are recognised as forming part of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) –those assets deemed essential to the overall running of the country. The loss or compromise of a major Corporate Data Centre could have a disastrous economic impact or cause significant repetitional damage to the economy as customers and trading partners are affected by the failure of the organisation.