Growth in internet use and data centres presents challenges for uninterruptible power

By Ian Bitterlin, Emerson Network Power Systems

 

Published in:

Electricity+Control, September 2013 (pages 13 – 14)

Enquiries: ian.bitterlin@emerson.com

 

The full article on Growth in internet use and data centres presents challenges for uninterruptible power can be downloaded in PDF format.

 


Data centre growth is greater in emerging markets than in the traditional mature markets. Information and communication technologies (ICT) hardware sales have risen accordingly to cope with data flows and are expected to reach 500 gigabytes per microsecond by 2020. Moore’s Law that microprocessors will double every two years has proved to be correct but the watts required have been halved.

Software is also increasing in speed and capacity and has encouraged the recycling of hardware. Organisations such as Facebook recycle servers as they install new ones. Keeping any hardware for longer than three years wastes money in terms of power consumption. We are already seeing photo etching on microprocessors and graphium chips are the future, replacing silicon chips.

Data has always outstripped Moore’s Law and its growth will continue to be exponential unless something is done about it soon. A possible solution is a tax on downloading photographs from Facebook. Video conferencing keeps travelling volumes and costs down.

 

Take note

  • The growth in data generation is forecast to reach 500 GB per microsecond by 2020.
  • Privatisation of utilities has resulted in a drop in power quality because of reduced maintenance.
  • More and more, data centres will require robust back-up supplies.