451 has released a new report titled, “Highly Efficient Data Centers in Practice,” and includes detailed case studies on 24 of the world’s most highly-efficient data centers—some large and well-known, others smaller and more obscure. Each case study examines how these data centers are capitalizing on developments in design, energy management, cooling, and new deployment approaches to improve their efficiency ratings. 

Highlights from the report include:

• Large Internet-related companies, such as eBay, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo represent a new breed of operator taking an integrated approach to achieve significant energy efficiency to cost-effectively meet growing data center demand.

• Power and cooling remain the top targets for efficiency. While free cooling is proliferating, operators are being far more cautious with DC power distribution.

• Data center eco-efficient IT has moved on from token or one-off efforts to limit energy use to a war on excess resource usage.

• The proliferation of Internet and cloud computing services will continue to place increased demand and public focus on the data center operations of the suppliers. These data centers will continue to be engines of innovation in efficiencies.

• Though prefabricated modular data centers are not inherently energy-efficient, their phased deployment can help operators avoid infrastructure overcapacity.

• The data center owners and operators achieving high energy efficiency demonstrate what can be done through innovation, focus, and investment. Many of the case studies serve as models for other operators to follow, and many were recognized by the Uptime Institute, a division of The 451 Group, as exemplars of data center efficiency and awarded Green Enterprise IT Awards at the Institute’s annual Symposium in May 2012.