Singapore promotes energy-efficient data centers
Monday, Mar 25th 2013

The growth of data centers does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. With the spread of cloud and big data analytics technologies, server needs across the globe continue to grow. From the heart of middle America to the frigid fjords of Scandinavia, countries are investing heavily in data center technology. The cost of this movement, however, tends to be rather steep. According to the United States' Department of Energy, data centers accounted for 1.5 percent of all electricity use in the nation. With the high cost of powering data centers, many governments have pushed operators to look for better ways to monitor power consumption at their facilities.

Singapore's push for conservation
Data Center Dynamics reported that Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority and Building and Construction Authority (BCA-IDA) has begun encouraging those who wish to build new data centers in the island nation to enact energy efficient designs and technologies. Reportedly, a standard large data center in Singapore is estimated to use the same amount of energy as 10,000 households. Two of the main aspects being stressed by the group are methods that would reduce electricity and water consumption.

BCA-IDA has approved a plan presented by Abbott Laboratories Singapore based on its use of energy efficient IT equipment and server virtualization techniques to reduce the electricity demands of its proposed facility. Once online, the data center will reportedly more than one million kilowatt hours per year.

"The data center market is set to grow rapidly in the next few years and this represents many opportunities for companies to step forward not only to do their part for the environment, but also to realize cost savings for their business," BCA CEO John Keung told the news outlet."

A viable solution for all?
Building data centers with energy-efficient equipment may benefit both operators and the environment, but it may not be the most practical move for every data center owner. Replacing current servers with more energy efficient models is a potentially expensive endeavor. Many data center operators could not afford the downtime required to replace their servers either. For enterprises looking for a simpler method to increase their data center's energy efficiency and lower operating costs, an upgrade to their environmental monitoring equipment may provide a viable alternative.

Instead of leaving air conditioning units running continuously to keep server rooms cool and prevent overheating, data center operators could install quality temperature monitoring equipment to track environmental conditions. If servers are in danger of overheating, temperature sensors will initiate cooling procedures. With this equipment in place, data center operators can reduce their electrical bills by only running their cooling units when it is necessary.