Schneider Electric has announced findings from a newly commissioned study by 451 Research, that captures the impact efficiency and sustainability have on the cloud and service provider business. The report includes insights from a survey of over 800 data centre service providers around the globe about their perspectives on sustainability and the strategic initiatives they are either deploying or may be using in the future. Additionally, it addresses what’s required to achieve sustainability measures for colocation providers.
“The report from 451 Research provides a snapshot of the influence efficiency and sustainability has on the colocation market,” says Mark Bidinger, President of the Cloud & Service Provider Segment, Schneider Electric. “Multi-tenant data centre operators can use it as a tool to assess gaps in resources and adoption, as well as the risks of not taking action.”
For the report Multi-tenant data centres and sustainability: ambitions and reality, 451 Research conducted surveys with IT decision makers who hold functional responsibilities over their data centre sustainability strategies within colocation and wholesale data centres. Respondents were based in countries throughout the world including: the United States, China, India, Australia, France, United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Demark, and more. The companies ranged in size of 10 to 10,000+ employees, and with data centre capacity from under 1MW to more than 150MW.
The report shares the level of maturity global colocation providers have with their sustainability strategies. Here are some key takeaways:
- The majority of respondents (57%) believe efficiency and sustainability will be highly important competitive differentiators in three years, a large increase from the current reading of 26%.
- Only 43% of respondents say they have strategic sustainability initiatives and efficiency improvements for their infrastructure.
- Top drivers for efficiency and sustainability programs are:
- Customer expectations (50%)
- Long-term operational resiliency (40%)
- Regulatory guidelines (36%)
- 97% of providers have between a few or all of their customers looking for contractual commitments to sustainable practices.
- Only 56% of those surveyed said they monitor their operational systems and the remaining said they do not generate reports to track these metrics (utilisation, energy consumption, PUE, etc.). In addition, roughly one third track carbon intensity at all sites.
When it comes to sustainability, the report found several common themes for multi-tenant data centre operators. Two of which are:
- Top focus areas for sustainability improvement include:
- Optimising existing data centre power distribution
- Upgrading data centre power distribution infrastructure
- Optimising existing data centre cooling efficiency
- Upgrading data centre cooling infrastructure
- Metrics to inform resiliency are a significant component of sustainability best practice with attention to how effectively data centre facilities are using power, water, and other resources. Effective product maintenance and modernisation is essential to extending and optimising the lifecycle of a data centre facility along with the use of DCIM and software to predict and monitor system operations and resource efficiency.