Concerns About Data Center Efficiency Escalate Globally with Ban in China
With about half of China’s 1.357 billion population connected to the Internet, it’s no surprise it’s among the countries expressing grave concerns about data center efficiency. Worse yet, many data centers in that country haven’t kept pace with technology that would minimize their environmental footprint.
Beijing, China, which has one of the highest pollution levels in the world, recently announced a ban that would keep any data center with a PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) of 1.5 or above from continuing its operations, according to Environment 360, a publication of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
The ban could have a widespread impact since many data centers throughout China are operating at PUE of 2.2, the report revealed. In fact, many data centers already have left the city because of the ban, according to the China Green Data Center Advancing Federation in Beijing.
PUE levels in United States
Data centers in the United States fare better with average PUEs of 1.7 in 2014, down from PUEs of 1.89 in 2011. However, the Uptime Institute noted that not much progress had been made in increased efficiencies over the four-year time span. “Were not really getting anywhere,” said Matt Stansberry of Uptime Institute.
About 50 percent of data center operators surveyed said they had a goal of PUE of 1.2 to 1.5. About 40 percent indicated a range of 1.5 to 2.0. Many inefficiencies could be addressed by decreasing the number of idle equipment being powered in the data center facility — a initiative that has been adopted by many data centers.
According to one study, about 30 percent of physical servers were comatose — not being used for computing in six months or more. Apparently that represents a $30 billion loss worldwide, according to Data Center Knowledge.