Using IoT to Increase the Energy Efficiency of Data Centers

Devin Partida -
data center energy efficiency
Illustration: © IoT For All

Sustainability and energy efficiency are hot topics in various fields right now. Small businesses and large corporations worldwide strive to use the latest technologies, adopt more sustainable business practices, and achieve energy efficiency in their respective facilities. One technology, the internet of things (IoT), may be a feasible solution for businesses looking to improve their sustainability. Data centers consume vast amounts of energy to operate, which can negatively impact the environment.

Reducing negative environmental impacts is a crucial business, especially as more geographic areas feel the effects of climate change. Let’s take a look at data centers and how these facilities can leverage IoT technologies to increase energy efficiency and overall sustainability.

The Important Role of Data Centers

There’s no question that a data center plays a central role in modern IT operations. These physical facilities make enterprise-level computing possible. Data centers are crucial in today’s digital world and their role will only grow increasingly important in the coming years.

Data centers house massive amounts of sensitive data for businesses and consumers alike. If a data center fails to operate smoothly or efficiently, it could risk an enterprise’s operational continuity.

Computing, storage, and networking equipment are essential to data centers. However, this also means data centers consume and depend on large amounts of energy.

How IoT Can Increase Energy Efficiency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, data centers are considered one of the most energy-intensive buildings. They consume 10 to 50 times more energy per floor space than a typical office building.

According to Statista, there were around 2,751 data centers in the United States as of January 2022. This figure doesn’t include data centers located in other countries. Energy efficiency and sustainability need to be a top priority for data centers. As more data centers are placed around the nation, their negative environmental impacts will be too significant to ignore.

IoT: A Necessity for Data Center Sustainability

According to a recent Uptime Institute global survey, less than 45 percent of respondents think the data center industry’s commitments deliver little to no meaningful reductions in environmental impacts. More work needs to be done in the data center industry to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. IoT technology may serve as a viable solution to some of these growing concerns for the data industry. Let’s discuss some ways IoT can increase energy efficiency and make data centers more sustainable.

Temperature and Humidity Monitoring

Because data centers consume vast amounts of energy when running 24/7, temperature and humidity control is essential for data center management. IoT sensors placed throughout the facility can monitor temperature and humidity, protect equipment from overheating, and measure overall efficiency. Gaining more control over HVAC systems and other essential equipment within the facility is made possible by IoT tech.

Leak Detection

Water leaks pose significant threats to data centers. Even one leak can compromise data center equipment and lead to costly consequences. IoT sensors made specifically for leak detection are available and help centers recover quickly from a leak. Sensors will notify management of leaks so they can take remedial action to prevent equipment damage or other dangerous situations.

Remote Power Monitoring

Today’s data centers are dynamic and rely on batteries and uninterrupted power supplies (UPS). With IoT sensors, data centers can remotely monitor power supplies and detect problems early, increasing power supply resiliency. In addition, remote power monitoring can provide insight into how the data center consumes energy, making it easier to understand its environmental impact.

Smart Lighting

A smart lighting system that leverages IoT technology can also help increase energy efficiency and sustainability for data centers. IoT-enabled lighting systems can easily be controlled and scheduled. Additionally, these systems can be set to turn on and off based on motion or sound, making it possible for data centers to avoid excessive lighting use. Generally, lighting systems integrated with IoT tech are more energy-efficient, helping data centers achieve next-level sustainability.

Data Centers Must Consider Adopting IoT Technology

IoT technologies are becoming more widely used globally. Data centers must consider how leveraging IoT tech can help them achieve improved sustainability. Data centers consume vast amounts of energy to operate, which can negatively impact the environment. Energy efficiency and sustainability must be top of mind for modern data centers. Data centers should consider reviewing the benefits of IoT technologies and how they can make their operations more environmentally friendly.

Author
Devin Partida - Editor-in-Chief, ReHack

Contributors
Guest Writer
Guest Writer
Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All. If you're interested in contributing to IoT For All, cli...
Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All. If you're interested in contributing to IoT For All, cli...