Scenario 2: Efficiency is Everything | Data Center 2025

Scenario 2: Efficiency is Everything.
"After 15 years of building Data Centers and CoLo’s I agree with Miroslav Bognar. Many companies will continue to maintain their own Data Centers, due to security considerations, i.e. Microsoft, Intel, Google, etc. I have seen the Building Operating costs drop to under $3.50 SqFt when using technology to monitor and control BAS so, being efficient will play a very large part in sustaining the life-cycle of future Data Centers and quite the environmentalist, which we all should be."
- Wally Hedman, Director of ITS, OCI Associates
Premise: Hyperscale facilities have been successful at driving down the cost of computing and the value proposition of shifting computing resources to the cloud has become so powerful that most enterprises have shuttered in-house facilities and purchase computing as a utility.

Cost has become the dominant driver in computing and bigger means cheaper. The corporate data center has all but disappeared from the landscape, replaced by the occasional rack supporting marketing or finance applications and the ubiquitous switching stations that connect the enterprise to the cloud. Data analytics have also been consolidated, allowing businesses of every size to evaluate key metrics for various aspects of the business as well as access detailed profiles on consumers and businesses that are used to personalize marketing and communications to behavior and real-time needs.

Those services are provided by mega sized facilities clustered in data center campuses, supported by smaller regional collocation facilities to reduce latency times. Efforts to use alternate fuels to meet some of the growing power consumption needs of the “data factories” have been abandoned because of long return on investments. Instead, hyperscale operators have employed tightly integrated aisle-based modules to drive up efficiency and make it fast and easy to add capacity as required. They have also invested in private power generation facilities with inverters providing the ability to sustain power during switchover to an alternate power source when needed.   The facilities themselves are designed for lights-out, unmanned remote operation. They are populated with low cost, standardized servers that are designed for fast replacement by the robots that roam the floor, making it cheaper to replace servers than protect them. Hyperscale operators have become utilities unto themselves, selling excess capacity into the local markets as a regional provider.

While enterprises and consumers love the low cost computing and storage hyperscale facilities provide, the facilities themselves have become the target of environmentalists concerned about the power they consume, and the heat and e-waste they generate.

What do you agree or disagree with in this scenario?
"Why does nobody ever think about the energy sources right at hand? Along the shorelines, almost every country hast the opportunity to generate vast amounts of wind energy – either on- or offshore. This electricity could be transferred into electricity, batteries etc. that support large-scale datacenters close to the places the wind generates the energy. As datacenters will be one of the major users of energy in the future, this shift in regional development will help regions in several ways (a good example is northern Germany along the North sea). This strategy could also reduce the necessity to build expensive long-distance high voltage electricity lines."
- Ariane in Germany

"Alternative fuels will be there, but in the rural network nodes and not at Data Center sites.

Alternative fuels in contrary to grid power will simply not be a price competitive alternative for the vast amount of power Data Centers needs."
- An Emerson Network Power Employee

"I do not think that all computing will be centered into 'public' or 'shared' clouds. Some companies will keep their own computing facilities, just because of security (or considered security) reasons. In all stages of computing will be press to efficiency. There will be intelligent management of server farms, which will allow sharing of load and switch off of not optimally used computers. The main power structure of these farms will be based on DC systems and powered by solar cells during the days and by other independent nature friendly power sources, when sun radiation will be not available. Cooling will be much more efficient, water cooling will be used much more often. I do not think that service of computer farms will be performed by robots in 2025. But need of human interventions will be reduced because computers will work in better managed conditions."
- Miroslav Bognar – System Engineer – Emerson Network Power