| A case:
AMSTERDAM May 2019
An article in the Dutch Newspaper NRC says:
Even the cloud has its limits. The power grid cannot keep up with the digital evolution. In recent years, data centers have mushroomed. The Amsterdam region has grown into one of the largest data hubs in the world, thanks to a combination of high-speed internet and a cheap, reliable power supply. But last year, the power grid in the Schiphol region suddenly turned out to be fully utilized. The same threat is hanging over big data clusters in the world. Yet the energy transition is only starting now. A terrifying scenario also in the light of the Paris agreements on carbon footprint reduction. Currently, the Netherlands’ largest onshore wind farm is being built, producing 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours, enough for 370,000 households. However, this energy is not supplied to the households, but entirely to Microsoft’s adjacent data center. This is how the social impact of energy consumption by data-centers is high. Also for the data-center operators, the rising energy costs are a problem. They come from two sides. On the one hand the potentially rising cost per Kwh and on the other hand the explosion of data traffic.
Data centers will be confronted with the following trends:
- Annual global IP traffic will reach 4.8 ZB per year by 2022, this was 1.5 ZB per year in 2017. An overall CAGR of 26%/year
- Busy hour Internet traffic will increase by a factor of 4.8 between 2017 and 2022, and average Internet traffic will increase by a factor of 3.7
- The number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global population by 2022. There will be 28.5 billion networked devices by 2022, up from 18 billion in 2017
- M2M (Machine to Machine) connections will be more than half of the global connected devices and connections by 2022
- Globally, mobile data traffic will increase sevenfold between 2017 and 2022. Mobile data traffic will grow at a CAGR of 46 percent between 2017 and 2022, reaching 77.5 exabytes per month by 2022.
Ref: Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017–2022
The consequence is:
Ref: Nature 2018
Reasons enough for data centers operators to pay attention to energy consumption. An example cost-break down is given in the graph below for a Data Center of 12.500 square meters.
In this example with a CAGR of 26%, energy costs related to data traffic will rise to over 5 million/year. Cool Optics claims that its solution can save up to 60% of the energy consumption in the network infrastructure, the related cost savings will be significant.
There are more and other energy saving solutions, but according to a recent EU study (ref: 5G and Energy efficiency 2017) they also run up against the limits of their possibilities.
Where energy is consumed, heat will develop. Where heat develops, cooling has to be done. Without countermeasures, not only the direct energy costs and costs for power equipment will increase, but the growing heat development will also increase the cost of cooling equipment and ~ energy.
Impression of heat-flow in a data center
Additional cost savings resulting from the Cool Optics solutions will be:
- Less investment in Cooling and Power Supply Devices
- Less power from the grid
- Less floor space because of smaller devices (the devices can be smaller because they produce less heat). Particularly the backplane of the switches can be smaller
- Datacenters are comparing themselves via the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness). Our solution will help them to improve the PUE key performance indicator.