Sustainability is now a top-of-mind issue in data center construction and management, as cloud computing and digital transformation fuel the world’s growing thirst for processing power.
And workloads are only going to grow more. A profusion of GPUs and CPUs are being deployed to support a burgeoning number of artificial intelligence applications. Smart devices equipped with 5G wireless networks will give rise to smaller but numerous edge data centers.
The growth of connected devices is driving not only demand for power to operate them but also data centers that connect to them. Vertiv estimates that the move to 5G is likely to increase total network energy consumption by between 150% and 170% by 2026, with the largest increases coming in macro, node and network data center areas. One 2017 study forecast that the communications industry could use 20% of the world’s electricity by 2025 and generate 14% of global emissions by 2040, or about as much as the entire U.S. does today.
All of this is occurring against the backdrop of growing global concerns about keeping water supplies safe and limiting the use of fossil fuels. This report from Vertiv explores the future of the sustainable data center and its impact on the industry.