Over the past few years, India has witnessed a radical shift in the production and consumption of data, with more internet users now than ever before. This brings to prominence the usage of data centres by enterprises to host mission-critical applications.
The data centre market in India is essentially driven by the hyperscale facilities demanded by the internet giants such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Google Cloud and Alibaba Cloud in order to power their cloud services. In 2017, a research report estimated that India’s co-location and hosting market will generate an annual revenues of almost $2 billion by 2019.
With the growing demand for reliable and easy-to-access backups, it becomes important to secure and transmit data effectively. It is also important to ensure proper cooling of data centres, which makes them voracious energy consumers. The problem is twofold, high energy consumption and high carbon emissions. A report by The Guardian states that the communications industry alone would consume 20 per cent of the global electricity by 2025 and carbon emissions by the information and communications technology (ICT) industry would be 5.5 per cent of the global value. Of this, data centres alone would constitute 3.2 per cent. To this end, initiatives have been undertaken by the data centre industry globally as well as in India to improve energy efficiency and go green.
Many data centres in India, including the STT Global Data Centre, are planning to use the new green captive power generation system, which offers a clean and reliable power source, without any surges/sags/ interference. These systems are used to directly power the critical server load without some of the intermediate power conditioning equipment. Further, the next-gen battery system can be used as an alternative to the existing UPS system, which offers a faster recharge time and occupies lesser floor loading capacity. These batteries ensure consumption of less energy. Magnatron AC saver can optimise air-conditioning performance by controlling the energy consumption. It monitors room and coil temperatures through deployment of logic-based processors and temperature sensors.
Server power management
This is an area where proper control of power can yield efficient results. With the use of few power management methods, a data centre can keep a tap on its power consumption, which include independent voltage scaling (IVS), Vary-on Vary-off (VoVo), coordinated voltage scaling (CVS), combined policy (VoVo and IVS) and coordinated policy (VoVo and CVS).
Dynamic thermal management for data centre
It can be applied at the granularity of a complete centre by using the workload placement method. This method can facilitate uniform distribution of temperatures through active thermal zones. There are two approaches to use workload redistribution to enhance the robustness and energy efficiency of a cooling system. Row-wise, thermal management can determine imbalances by redistributing workload locally within a row. The distribution is generally based on measured temperature, equalising temperature variation within the hot aisles. Further, through the regional thermal management mechanism, large computational loads can be moved around the PDC (programmable data centre) if infrastructural problems such as cooling failure and power failure occur or in the case of a major increase in computational load.
This entails the replacement of physical servers in data centres. Virtual world products such as XEN, VMware and Hyper-Vare are a part of green cloud computing that reduces computing power consumption. Further, virtualisation significantly decreases the amount of hardware required and also provides benefits such as improved performance, fault tolerance and manageability.
It ensures the management of the available physical resources which is easily achieved in a flexible manner. It also helps in balancing of load and maintenance of infrastructure.
Around 40 per cent of the total operational costs of a data centre come from the energy requirements for providing power and cooling the massive equipment. A data centre needs to be cooled and regulated properly. As per Siemens, there are several ways that data centres can optimise their cooling, which includes thermal optimisation, white space cooling optimisation and chiller plant optimisation.
Recently, Facebook will be supporting its Clonee Data Centre by 100 per cent renewable energy. The centre has a state point system, which uses a liquid-to-air membrane exchanger in which water evaporates through a membrane separation layer to cool the data centre.
Shaping up for the future
With efficient management and focus on green data centres, 60 per cent of the hardware cost can be saved along with a 32 per cent increase in power usage effectiveness. Besides, green data centres can reduce their carbon footprint significantly by providing efficient energy consumption. Giants like eBay, Amazon, Facebook and National Snow and Ice Data Center rely on green or sustainable data centres for their operations. In the move towards a green solution, the India Green Building Council is currently involved in drawing up a green standard for data centres.