COVID-19 increases data centre competition
While industries from manufacturing and construction to supply chain have faced disruption this year, the data centre industry has largely defied the trend. As remote work, online learning and telemedicine have increased demand for digital services, data centres have become increasingly essential infrastructure.
from industry analysis firm has found that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the competitiveness of the data centre industry, while also raising issues of capacity, as operators in some markets struggle to keep up with demand.
The market, the report found, is equally divided in its opinion over whether the industry has successfully kept pace with frantic demand for digital services driven by COVID-19.
A key finding of the report centres around the data centre industry’s relationship to the construction sector. While existing data centres have found their server racks filling up with new and expanding clients, companies undergoing new data centre construction projects have faced issues, as COVID-19 has sent ripples of destruction across the construction sector.
Turner & Townsend’s report found that 79% of industry professionals believe that COVID-19 has caused productivity losses and higher operating costs on data centre construction sites. And 55 percent of respondents believe there will be a rise in data centre construction claims and litigation in 2021 linked to COVID-19.
“The current crisis, and increasingly competitive nature of the market, has starkly exposed the fragility of the global supply chain and its potential to curb future growth. Data centre providers need to be alive to the very real risks of contractor insolvency and knock-on impacts to projects,” writes report author Dan Ayley, Global Head of Hi-tech and Manufacturing.
The report notes that 2021 will be a pivotal year for the data centre industry. Faced with rising construction costs and complications, and faced with a worsening skills shortage across the industry, data centre operators will need to upskill and develop local talent in order to meet demand and address the weak points in the industry’s supply chain.
“Currently, we have a very small, specialised data centre supply chain servicing an enormous, global market. This needs to change if we are to meet the capacity challenge ahead,” adds Ayley.
There is huge opportunity for expansion, but without careful investment into improving the resilience of the data centre industry’s supply chain, operators could find themselves facing more severe pain points than ever before.
Sustainability and PUE reduction in data centres
The data centre industry is at a crossroads. As demand for colocation, hyperscale cloud, and edge solutions continues to rise, operators and enterprises are also facing up to the reality that sustainable design and operating practice are a mission critical component of the modern data centre. Going green is no longer an optional extra.
Data centres are becoming an increasingly critical foundation that underpins the modern world, and the demand for them continues to grow exponentially each year. Data centres must remain in constant operation in order to provide the services for which customers depend on them.
This mission critical need, combined with the sector-wide push towards reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint throughout the industry, is making the search for innovative evaporative media solutions that keep systems running at peak efficiency an equally mission critical priority.
The two main sources of energy consumption in a modern data centre are its IT equipment and the cooling infrastructure used to keep that equipment cool. A 2017 study found that energy consumption as the direct result of cooling data centre IT equipment can amount to over 40% of the total energy consumption in a facility. From air cooling to liquid and evaporative chillers, data centre operators, finding the right cooling solution for your facility is a top-of-mind goal for any data centre operator.
Portacool: keeping it Kuul
Based in Center, Texas, Portacool is a portable evaporative cooling solutions firm that has been pushing the boundaries of mission critical infrastructure cooling technology since it entered the market in 1990.
Through constant embodiment of its five brand pillars - Safety & Liability, Total Cost of Ownership, Productivity & Performance, Sustainability & Social Responsibility, and Life & Comfort Enhancing Solutions - Portacool has grown steadily over the past 30 years, continually reinforcing its reputation for industry-leading cooling solutions.
Portacool’s solutions have been successfully applied throughout the agricultural and horticultural, manufacturing, industrial, business, entertainment, sports, home, and hobby industries - “anywhere cooling is needed and traditional air conditioning is impractical or cost prohibitive.”
The company’s sub-brand, Kuul, is Portacool’s answer to the growing need for reliable, sustainable cooling solutions in the data centre sector. Portacool manufactures three series of evaporative media – Kuul Control, Kuul Vitality and Kuul Comfort. Kuul Control is used in data centres, power generation and HVAC systems. Kuul Vitality is utilised primarily in the horticulture, poultry and swine industries. Kuul Comfort is exclusively made for usage in Portacool-branded portable evaporative coolers.
Kuul can help data centre operators lower their PUE dramatically, increasing the environmental sustainability of their facilities significantly as a result of its rigid evaporative media solutions.