451 Research has published a report titled “Highly Energy-Efficient Datacenters in Practice” that examines how datacenters are capitalizing on developments in design, energy management, cooling, and new deployment approaches to improve their energy efficiency. The report includes case studies on 24 of the world’s most highly energy-efficient datacenters – some large and well-known, others smaller. The majority of datacenter profiles included in this report were Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT Award winners or honorees at the Uptime Institute’s annual Symposium in May 2012.
The key findings of the report include the following:
- Large Internet-related companies, such as eBay, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo, represent a new breed of operator taking an integrated approach to achieve significant energy efficiency to cost-effectively meet growing datacenter demand.
- The proliferation of Internet and cloud computing services will continue to place increased demand and public focus on the datacenter operations of suppliers. These datacenters will continue to be engines of innovation in efficiencies.
- Datacenter eco-efficient IT has moved on from token or one-off efforts to limit energy use to a war on excess resource usage.
- Power and cooling remain the top targets for efficiency. While free cooling is proliferating, operators are being far more cautious with direct current (DC) power distribution.
- Though prefabricated modular datacenters are not inherently energy-efficient, their phased deployment can help operators avoid infrastructure overcapacity.
“Tightly integrating the various moving parts of a datacenter project, such as the parallel design of cooling and IT systems, can lead to results beyond what is possible with a piecemeal approach,” said the report’s lead author Rhonda Ascierto, Senior Analyst in 451 Research’s Datacenter Technologies and Eco-Efficient IT practices. “In very efficient datacenters, we are also seeing an increased emphasis on collaboration between datacenter facilities and IT operations within an organization, and between organizations and their consultants and vendors.”