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White Paper - Reducing Data Center Costs and Environmental Impact | Legrand United Kingdom

Maximizing Data Center Efficiency: A Comprehensive Guide to Airflow Management

Focus on Data Center Efficiency

The focus on enhancing data center efficiency has gained paramount importance against the backdrop of escalating global energy costs, stringent environmental regulations, and significant industry energy consumption. Data centers, the modern-day equivalents of factories, are closely monitored to harmonize their growing digital demands with sustainability objectives. Predictions by Gartner highlight this shift, with an expectation that 75% of organizations will implement a data center infrastructure sustainability program by 2027, up from less than 5% in 2022.

Data centers are adapting to a surge in internet usage and workloads, necessitating improved energy efficiency and sustainability measures. Regulations such as the EU Code of Conduct for Data Center Energy Efficiency, the EN50600 European Standard, and the ISO/IEC 22237 standard provide guidance. With the EU Energy Efficiency Directive introducing new mandates from 2024 and countries like Germany setting specific Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) targets, the industry is gearing towards obligatory adherence to energy and sustainability standards.

Airflow Management for Operational Efficiency and Sustainability

A considerable part of data center energy consumption, which McKinsey and Company estimates at 40%, is allocated to cooling. Effective airflow management within data center cabinets plays a pivotal role in reducing energy usage and elevating cooling efficiency. This involves overcoming obstacles such as bypass and recirculation airflow, which result in energy losses.

Implementing these airflow management practices results in substantial energy savings, stable cold aisle temperatures, improved cooling operations, and the elimination of hotspots. The Nexpand cabinet system is highlighted as an effective solution for minimizing air loss and optimizing cooling distribution, which not only enhances IT equipment reliability and performance but also leads to considerable operational cost reductions. Adopting such measures is essential for data center operators to lower energy consumption, meet regulatory requirements, and promote a more sustainable and efficient operation.

The document delineates six primary strategies for optimizing cabinet airflow management.

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