Protecting the Future
The data center industry has a strong track record when it comes to energy-efficient design and operation. In 2010, the average data center PUE was above 2.0, but through concerted effort and investments, that average dropped below 1.6 by 2017. PUE levels have largely stagnated since then, while operator’s goals have expanded to include emissions, water consumption and waste. Achieving those goals may require more radical approaches than those employed in the past.
Meeting the Growing Demand for Capacity
The data center industry isn’t facing the challenge of reducing emissions, water consumption, and waste while keeping capacity at current levels. Instead, it must make progress toward those goals while continuing to meet an almost insatiable demand for compute and storage capacity.
As owners and operators continue to expand their footprint to meet demand, increasingly deploying computing resources closer to the users they serve, they are beginning to face pushback from municipalities related to the impact of new data centers on local water and energy resources.
Driving to Net Zero
As a result, the ability to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment has become intertwined with the industry’s ability to meet demand. Without progress toward net zero operations, the industry could face more challenges in developing the capacity the market is demanding.
This won’t necessarily be an easy evolution, and it won’t happen overnight. Particularly with renewable energy use, the industry is dependent on grid-connected renewable capacity, as well as advances in clean hydrogen production and fuel cells.
But, while these technologies advance, progress can continue to be made. By driving out operational inefficiencies and driving up utilization rates, data center operators can maximize the value of every watt of energy they use. Simultaneously, the migration from water-intensive to water-efficient or water-free cooling systems can preserve resources in areas experiencing water stress.
Partnering for Progresss
Vertiv is working with its data center partners to solve complex problems related to critical digital infrastructure. We recognize that the design, development, use, and disposal of our products is critical to the longevity of our industry and the world.
Resource: Vertiv's Commitment to Sustainability
To that end, count on Vertiv for power and thermal management innovations that improve data center operations. We’re proud to lead on innovations ranging from liquid cooling to UPS grid enablement — all with the goal of enabling sustainable data center operations at your facilities. Visit Vertiv’s Sustainability Spotlight page to learn more.