Whether an owner/ operator or consumer of outsourced data center services, the dynamics of how energy is procured, consumed, and allocated as power are fundamental in governance of data center costs.
Data center energy efficiency is one of the topics I’m called about most frequently these days. Energy is the primary operating expense in the IT engine room. As an industry, data centers are identified as a primary industrial consumer of energy. In the US alone, data centers account for nearly 3% of all energy consumed in the country. The similar situation exists in most of the developed world. Consequently, governments have begun to target data centers legislatively, as a component of their efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses. Even in countries in which data centers are not (yet) taxed on carbon, energy efficiency is a critical component of data center cost management.
I have experience with data center energy efficiency on a global scale. I’ve worked with data centers in their purchasing of energy, use of energy from sustainable sources, and techniques at the facility and IT levels for optimizing the consumption of energy. I’m an instructor for the US Department of Energy’s Data Center Energy Practitioner (DCEP) certification program, and have trained hundreds of certified DCEP consultants.
Additionally, I’ve spent considerable time on the topic of power as a product, for data center service providers. There is palpable confusion on both the buyer and seller sides of the power topic, fueled by misunderstandings of costs and pricing assumptions and the desire on the buyer’s side to align costs with growth expectations.