A growth market looking for efficiencies

Data centres: A growth market looking for efficiencies

The data centre market in China is set to grow at 13 per cent a year until 2020, according to a new report by Technavio

The research company says the data centre market in China is highly competitive, with Amazon and Alibaba battling it out for supremacy.

Google, Microsoft and Facebook are also making inroads using environmental conscientiousness as a way to increase business.

The so-called “green data centre” is generating increasing interest because data centres are becoming more of a drain on national power grids, with some experts claiming that they might even affect household supply.

And that’s not the only reason data centres are going green. The costs of running data centres are increasing as prices of energy go up around the world. The less electricity a data centre uses, the more money it saves.

Moreover, regulators and lawmakers are becoming more stringent. Beijing has issued a ban on data centres which use too much electricity.

Authorities in China’s capital city have prohibited data centres which have a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.5 or higher.

Another way data centre operators could possibly save money is by using new artificially intelligent automation systems in the running of their data centres.

So, for example, Google DeepMind claims it has developed a method which enabled its data centre to reduce its energy consumption by 40 per cent.

If commercialised, the system could become the first method of monetisation for DeepMind since Google bought the company for $500 million in 2014.

Another way in which data centres could save money is through more efficient storage and faster data transfer.

Supermicro has just released an all-flash server and storage system which the company claims “delivers up to 50 per increase in storage performance”.

Moreover, more companies are developing micro data centre solutions, partly in preparation of further growth in the global telecommunications market.

The conventional data centre market is also growing, as evidenced by the opening of new data centres almost every week, as well as the upgrading of existing ones.

Equinix, which owns hundreds of data centres, is spending $26 million into expanding its flagship data centre in Slough, which is becoming something of a data centre city in the UK.

The company is also opening a new data centre in Sydney, Australia, as well as spending $28 million (US dollars) bolstering its Melbourne data centre.

Meanwhile, startup company ST2 is opening a £100 million data centre at the former ICI site in Redcar, UK, which the company says will create 400 jobs and be eco-friendly.

Anne Stokes, CEO of ST2, said: “This is an important step forward in our ambition to develop an environmentally sustainable data centre and technology services business in the North East. Not only will this be an important source of quality jobs for the area, but demonstrates that the tech sector isn’t just a phenomenon for the South of England.”