Temperature monitoring is crucial to modern data center cooling
Tuesday, Jan 31st 2017

The market for data center power management has expanded over the last few years as facilities' operators have sought to increase their energy efficiency levels, reduce total cost of ownership and scale their activities to keep up with rising demand for IT and cloud services. According to a report from RnR Market Research, this sector could expand at a 9 percent compound annual growth rate between 2017 and 2021, eventually reaching $21.73 billion in value.

Understanding how data center power is utilized by different facilities

Why are data center providers adopting power management technologies? One big reason is the desire to more closely monitor how much electricity they are consuming. The bigger power consumers in the typical data center are pieces of IT equipment, uninterruptible power supplies and chillers. How much electricity goes toward cooling alone depends heavily on the age and design of the data center.

More specifically, in cutting-edge facilities, cooling uses much less electricity than standard IT equipment, since energy-efficient mechanisms such as free-air cooling and containment aisles play a central role. However, in older buildings, there is greater reliance on air conditioning alone, which drives up the share of power consumption that goes toward cooling.

Data center cooling is becoming more efficient.Data center cooling is becoming more efficient.

Minimizing electricity consumption wherever possible is vital, since data centers are projected to require a lot more power in the years ahead. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimated that by 2020, data centers will consume 140 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, resulting in $13 billion worth of power bills.

"In cutting-edge facilities, cooling uses much less electricity than standard IT equipment."

The changing face of the data center cooling market

The good news is that less efficient facilities are gradually being phased out by newer ones, meaning that the growth curve for overall data center power consumption may be kept in check even as the absolute amount of electricity consumed keeps increasing. Research and Markets has predicted that the data center cooling market will double in size between 2016 and 2021, to over $14 billion.

Two of the major drivers of this growth will be the shift to eco-friendly and energy-efficient cooling solutions, as well as the desire to cut operational costs. These alternatives to indiscriminate air conditioning can lower electricity bills while still providing effective heat removal. The upfront investment in new infrastructure may be relatively costly, but the long-term benefit of lowering operating expenses should ensure that the upgrade pays for itself.

For data center operators, ITWatchDogs provides a broad array of environmental monitoring solutions that can keep tabs on many different critical metrics. Temperature, humidity, airflow and even door openings can be carefully tracked, so that you have all the information you need to make smart decisions about your facility, save energy and expand your operations. Find out more today about your options on our main page.