Meeting Data Center Demand
Power-hungry data centers are only getting hungrier. Did you know there are SEVEN million data centers worldwide, with up to 105 gigawatts (GW) of built capacity? Would you believe we’re only using two-thirds of it? Recently T5’s Craig McKesson and Schneider Electric’s Joe Reele discussed these challenges to managing ever-increasing power demand and more in the latest DCD podcast hosted by Chief Technology Officer Stephen Worn.
The conversation highlighted the challenges of power demands, incorporating intelligent power into data center infrastructures to ensure resilience and reliability, as well as innovative and cost-effective solutions to the current challenges.
During Urgency and Crisis, Innovation Flourishes
A key theme was how challenges spur rapid innovation and adoption. Joe used the pandemic as an example. All the tools of remote work and virtual meetings were available to us before the pandemic. However, we still all got in our cars and drove to work or got on a plane and went to a meeting. But the pandemic forced us to use the tools at our disposal. In the same way, we can tackle the demand challenge. “We have to get better at both projecting what we really need, as well as utilizing what we already have in order to make this an efficient industry,” added Joe.
Craig agreed stating, “we are in the eye of the hurricane, so to speak,” with demand. “We are seeing such unprecedented demand because of some of the economic and societal shocks that we are going through. As service providers, we continually ask for rush capacity and for our suppliers to add manufacturing capacity. But that’s not realistic.”
Forecast Ahead: Even More Capacity
From a forecast perspective, expect another 20GW of additional capacity by 2024, right around the corner, Craig added. Given current constraints, supply likely won’t be able to meet demand in the time frame needed. But we do have AI and machine learning tools and the digitization of everything that we’ve been working on for the last several years, collecting thousands and thousands of data points. That allows us to use this calm-before-the-storm period to work smarter, Joe articulated.
Companies like Schneider are helping to collect the data and turn it into something actionable. Providers such as T5 can use the data in real-time to reduce operational inefficiencies and quickly do things like offer “10 more racks without building a single thing”, explained Joe.