Business

Published on February 22nd, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi

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Everything you need to know about data centres

Businesses and companies have to think about huge amounts of data storage to be able to operate in the modern market place, but have you ever wondered where all this data is stored? The truth is that it is likely to be found in a data centre. Here is everything that you need to know about huge data centres around the world.

The world houses a huge number of data centres

Across the world there is a truly enormous number of data centres. Overall, it is estimated that there are over 7,500 dedicated data storage facilities. And perhaps unsurprisingly, more than 2,600 of them are located with the 20 largest cities across the globe. London actually has the largest number of individual data centres with 337, and that is followed by more than 300 centres found in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan areas.

That number is set to grow over the next few years, and even the current data centres are set to grow. According to a recent survey more than a quarter of current data centres are set to get larger over than next three years.

Data centres use a tremendous amount of power

Remember that data centres have to be constantly running – naturally this uses up a huge amount of power. According to data from the US National Resources Defence Council (NRDC), data centres currently account for more than 3 per cent of global electricity consumption. Incredibly this, and the associated greenhouse emissions, gives the data centres as a whole a larger carbon footprint than the airline industry.

Putting this in perspective, the average data centre uses 100 times more electricity than a large commercial office, and larger facilities may use a similar amount of power to a small town in the United States. Additionally, data centres combined use more electricity per year that the whole of the United Kingdom.

Where does that power go?

It’s not just the data centres that require constant power – a much larger chunk of the electricity consumption comes from the equipment used to keep the servers cool. Overheating can be a huge problem for data centres which is part of the reason that centres are commonly found in colder parts of the world.

Leading energy and sustainability consultants BSE 3D are at the forefront of the technology in designing something known as ‘high performance buildings’ – which are often used to house data centres. The industry understands the issues surrounding increasingly large centres using huge amounts of electricity. Many are investing in green energy technology to reduce emissions and running costs.

They are increasingly becoming a part of our lives

As mentioned above, the number of data centres is growing – this is due to demand for their services. Large businesses are exceeding their IT capacity and are growing dependant on data centres. This has led to the need for enormous data centres in locations across the world. This includes one in Reno, Nevada which is an incredible 7.3 million square feet.

These larger systems can make use of cutting-edge cooling technology which makes them more efficient than smaller data centre. The centre in Reno, for example, is powered entirely with renewable energy.

We need to consider sustainability

As our dependence on data centres grows, we need to consider how we can manage this energy consumption on such a large scale. Recent reports have indicated that data centres could account for more than 20 per cent of the world’s energy use by 2025. Something clearly needs to be done to stop centres from having an enormously negative effect on global emissions and energy use.

Energy efficient solutions and green power needs to take the forefront in data centres. You can encourage this by only working with data centres that are powered with sustainable energy.

Security is a huge issue

Data centres understand that they need to take their security seriously. Aside from the obvious risk of attack from cyber criminals, there could also be the danger of the servers coming under a physical attack. This is why data centres are now often designed with walls of 4 foot thick concrete as well as a range of features to stop unauthorised entry.

If you are choosing a data centre, make sure that you select one that takes it security measures seriously.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.



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