In the past, data centers had the dubious reputation of being huge electricity consumers. This distinction was not entirely accurate as the data center industry was and is constantly looking for ways to be more efficient, and, according to a 2016 report titled, “United States Data Center Energy Usage Report,” from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) while more data centers are being built, “electricity consumption by data centers nationwide, after rising rapidly for more than a decade, started to plateau in 2010 and has remained steady since, at just under 2% of total U.S. electricity consumption.” This is great news! Data center operators walk a tightrope between maintaining uptime and keeping operation costs, including energy costs, low. Losing uptime means losing customer, trust and ultimately business dollars. High operation costs mean more dollars spent on energy and maintenance. Maintaining energy efficiency and uptime is a never ending quest that is addressed in the thousands of data centers around the world every day and at the numerous data center conferences I attend every year. The industry is doing a good job and deserves kudos.
MISSION CRITICAL FACILITIES
Mission Critical magazine’s aim is to serve data center and mission-critical facility professionals by providing practical solutions to all manner of issues. This includes solutions for: data center design, data center standards, infrastructure, data reliability, rising energy costs, increasing heat loads, emergency backup, security, cable management, virtualization, and disaster recovery.
I think that we do an excellent job at covering data centers but there is room for improvement on coverage central to mission critical facilities, which I define in the most simplistic terms as places where the power cannot go out such as hospitals, 911 call centers, military installations, laboratories, and, of course, data centers, without causing either a loss of life or economic impact. We have run articles in the past on mission critical facilities such as hospitals and 911 call centers but not as much as I would like. Look for more focus on these important stories as we move into the new year.