Demand for innovative solutions to cut energy costs will be a major focus for UK data centres, predicts David Hogg, Managing Director at 8 Solutions

November 29, 2013

A study conducted by Campos Research & Analysis has found that data centre power was one of the major driving forces for European data centre expansion. According to David Hogg, Managing Director at 8 Solutions, a specialist at increasing efficiency and mitigating against the risk of down-time in critical facilities, 2014 will be a year that focuses on the introduction of innovative solutions to reduce energy costs.

David explains: “With recent energy prices increasing by up to 10% and future rises expected, the pressure to reduce data centre energy costs along with CO2 emissions has never been greater. We have seen a sharp rise in demand in the last six months for alternative ways to improve data centre efficiencies and this is a trend which will continue well into 2014.”
8 Solutions has completed over 100,000 critical facility projects and has a client base that encompasses the majority of the FTSE 100 either directly or through the major facilities management organisations.

8 Solution’s predictions for 2014:

1.The introduction of outside air as a cost-effective way of data centre cooling will become far more widespread as companies look at ways to counteract rising energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint. This will lead to more contaminants (both physical and chemical) being brought into data centre environments.

2. Simple Airflow techniques to improve the efficiency of data centre cooling will begin to gain momentum this year. The elimination of bypass airflow in older data centres to provide more efficient cooling will give a typical ROI of less than two years.

3.The move in the market away from owned data centre space to colocation will increase in velocity. Colo providers will increasingly look for differentiators to maintain margins.

4.As new data centres are located in a variety of geographical locations, the need to carry out bespoke cleaning specific to certain environments will become critical. The physical location of a data centre has a significant impact on the air quality being introduced causing contamination levels high enough to exceed IT equipment manufacturer’s warranties.

5.The market will move to procuring Cleaning, Decontamination and Environmental Management solutions on more of a ‘managed service’ basis where the contractor assists in the maintenance of the Data Centre environment rather than the typical customer/supplier contractual relationship.

6.A significant increase in the inclusion of proper technical cleaning and certification within corporate risk management programmes. Large corporates will move away from soft service cleaning towards technical cleaning as the data centre management teams become educated in the risks involved.

7.An increase in the occurrence of data centre downtime due to poor management of the environment.

8.Insurance Companies become more aware of the risks of Data Centres that do not follow best practice in terms of maintenance of the facilities to prescribed ISO and ASHRAE standards. The DCA Anti-Contamination white paper and the DCA certification of best practice in data centres will increase awareness of the correct way to maintain the data centre environment.

9.A growth in alternative energy and cooling sources become more popular as providers constantly look to develop alternate strategies to cope with the ever-rising costs of energy.

10.Although there has been a 2% decline in the overall market size of the UK data centre estate in the past year this trend cannot continue and the amount of investment in new-build Colo sites will remain prevalent through 2014.