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Five ways AI is transforming data centres

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The tech landscape is undergoing a remarkable transformation. This is currently driven predominantly by advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT), quantum computing, automation, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and cybersecurity.

These advancements are bringing unprecedented opportunities for business growth and improved quality of life. However, they also pose wider operational challenges that must be addressed. This includes concerns over job displacement for many people, privacy concerns, and cybersecurity risks. Within this wider landscape, AI, in particular, is playing a significant role in transforming and improving how data centres operate. 

With that in mind, Mark Grindey, CEO, Zeus Cloud shares five ways that data centres can use developments in AI to their advantage to optimise efficiency, enhance performance, and streamline operations. 

Optimising Efficiency and Performance

  1. Predictive Maintenance: Data centres consist of numerous interconnected systems and equipment. AI algorithms can analyse real-time data from sensors and usage patterns to predict when equipment may fail or require maintenance. By identifying potential issues in advance, data centres can schedule maintenance tasks, minimise downtime, and reduce costs associated with unplanned outages.
  2. Energy Efficiency: AI algorithms can monitor energy consumption patterns and optimise energy usage in data centres. By analysing data on workload demands, temperature, and power usage effectiveness (PUE), AI can identify areas where energy can be saved and provide insights for improving energyefficiency. This not only reduces operational costs but also contributes to environmental sustainability.
  3. Intelligent Resource Allocation: Data centre resources, such as servers, storage, and networking equipment, need to be allocated efficiently to handle varying workload demands. AI can analyse historical data, usage patterns, and performance metrics to optimise resource allocation in real-time. This ensures that resources are allocated dynamically, matching workload requirements, and reducing inefficiencies or over-provisioning.
  4. Enhanced Security: Data centres store large volumes of sensitive and valuable data. AI-powered security systems can analyse network traffic, identify anomalies, and detect potential security threats or attacks. By continuously monitoring data traffic and patterns, AI can provide real-time threat detection, prevention, and response, enhancing the overall security posture of the data centre.
  5. Intelligent Data Management: With the exponential growth of data, data centres face the challenge of efficiently managing and processing large volumes of information. AI can help automate data management tasks such as data categorisation, classification, and retrieval. AI-powered data analytics can extract valuable insights from massive datasets, facilitating informed decision-making and improving operational efficiency.


By harnessing the power of AI, data centres can optimise their operations, improve efficiency, and provide better services to their customers. However, it is important to ensure that AI systems are implemented ethically, with appropriate oversight and safeguards in place. As AI technologies continue to evolve, the potential for innovation in data centres will continue to grow, enabling them to stay at the forefront of the ever-evolving tech landscape – all of which raises questions to end users around whether their data centre provider is making use of AI to not only improve the service they receive, but also to keep data secure.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Change or be changed – The looming threat of regulation for data centre energy use

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By Simon Harris, Head of Critical Infrastructure at BCS

Climate change and the global response of Net Zero has dominated the political discourse in recent years. There appears to be widespread agreement within the data centre industry – as a major and growing consumer of power – that it has an important role to play in the debate and resulting actions to implement change to limit and ultimately reverse the damage caused by historical methods of power generation.

According to the findings of the latest BCS Summer Report 2022, which showcases the views and insights of over 3,000 senior industry professionals, there is a firm commitment amongst respondents to move towards a renewable-sourced future.  However, there are also strong concerns that regulation could be placed on the industry to push initiatives for the greater use of renewable sources of power at a more rapid rate, with around 90% of those surveyed believing that this could be introduced to ensure greater compliance.

Despite the industry taking action, the direction of travel in the political realm suggests that regulation could be placed on the industry due to increasing socio-political pressures and Net Zero requirements

Should the industry self-regulate?

The issue of regulation is always difficult. There is of course a need for industries to operate within a regulatory framework to ensure standards on many aspects. However, the extent of that regulation lies at the very heart of the fundamental debate of state intervention in the private sector and its implications for how business operates. There is a real and practical debate to be had, and in the real world there are industry groups to influence policy makers and legislators to ensure positive outcomes without stifling industry growth. Sensible policy makers accept and welcome this knowledge as it provides – accepting a degree of self-interest – knowledge, experience, and expertise on an issue from those with the greatest exposure to it.

In turn those reputable businesses accept the need to operate their business within a sensible regulatory framework as it provides a stable and secure environment and gives their customers confidence around industry standards. The argument around self-regulation is to what extent processes within the industry need to guide and frame within a legal process and how much can be voluntarily supported and provided.

For the data centre industry there is little doubt that the industry recognises the need to move forward with power optimisation and sensible sourcing initiatives. There are several high-profile groups and initiatives already in operation including the voluntary European Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centres and the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact for example. The argument here is that those within the industry – and whose bottom lines it will directly impact – are best placed to know how to innovate and produce solutions. Around three-quarters of all our survey respondents believe that self-regulation offers the best course of action to aid the push to meet Net Zero targets. Around 94% of developers and investors, and 85% of service providers indicated this view.

There are ambitious targets to be achieved by 2025 and 2030 under the green deal, and it begs the question that if our sector doesn’t get ahead of these targets, will this be the catalyst that sees the self-regulatory initiative become legislative and regulated?  Our sector is at a crossroads with one route being proactive, investing in new technologies, self-generation and looking at innovative storage solutions to reach climate neutral targets. The other route is having legislation and regulation imposed on us and having to react to the imposition of energy, water and emission targets that we have no influence over. The outcome is uncertain.

New collaboration to support data centre market on net zero goals

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Keysource and Chapmanbdsp have formed a partnership to support clients on the road to net zero carbon emissions in the data centre and critical infrastructure market.

The collaborative service combines both industry leaders’ expertise to provide customers with the ability to measure and manage the full carbon lifecycle of a project, including embodied and operational carbon, along with carbon offset options, whether planning a new build or upgrading an existing facility.

The aim is to give customers the insight of what contributes to a projects whole life carbon and the intervention opportunities available to realise their sustainability goals. The approach and methodology developed provides a transparent and visual way to manage key decision making whilst considering the broader impacts of those options.

Jon Healy, Operations Director at Keysource, said: “We recognise that measuring and managing embodied carbon needs to form part of a holistic development process, particularly for data centres. This partnership provides customers a combined resource of consultancy and advisory services to complete carbon assessments in parallel with other project drivers. Leveraging our data centre experience, we’re able to provide customers with high impact and feasible opportunities.”

Ray Upjohn, Chief Executive Officer at chapmanbdsp, added: “We see great value in combining our skills in the energy and sustainability arena. Together we’re proud to support the data centre market in overcoming the challenge of achieving net zero.”

Can a data centre achieve Net Zero?

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By OnSite Energy Projects

Achieving net zero is a challenge for any business but data centres are amongst the most power hungry users. Globally data centres consume >3% of total power generation (that’s 140% of the entire UK power generation). So can data centres ever attain net zero?

Some data centres simply buy “green tariffs” which in my view is a cheat, and it won’t be acceptable in the long run.  It also misses the real opportunity of embracing the move towards net zero, which is  to reduce operating costs and be green at local level. Achieving net zero lies in a combination of energy efficiency and local zero carbon generation.

Data centres are often measured by their PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) which is Total Facility Power consumption divided by IT Equipment Power.  Typically PUE is in the range 1.5-2.0  depending on location.  The traditional approach in building a data centre is to size the power supply and cooling to the maximum compute capacity, with redundancy.  In practice this means a lot of equipment on standby or in reserve just in case.

We typically see several energy savings options in data centres.  For instance, alternative cooling technologies can be used which save significant energy (up to 90% of cooling load), and are also cheaper than traditional cooling and more scalable to deploy as IT power grows.  Resulting PUE can fall below 1.1.

Reducing consumption also narrows the gap that zero carbon onsite generation then needs to address.  The main factors in specifying generation solutions are usually available space on site, scale of generation needed and access to nearby low carbon or renewable generation.

The benefits such an approach brings are (1) cheaper operating costs;  (2) reduced CO2 emissions; (3) long-term cheaper power than grid, and (4) enhanced resilience. These are all key factors in attracting and retaining tenants.   Adoption of the alternative cooling technologies can even enable more dense rack compute power, so enabling more use of space, higher rents and higher occupancy.

The technology may not be there today to go fully net zero, but I am convinced its coming.  Adopting a strategy towards net zero will be vital for attracting and retaining customers.

Onsite Energy Projects enables the achievement of net zero via our innovative data-led approach and zero capex solution. For more details please contact us at or on 0161 444 9989.

GUEST BLOG: How Data Centers are Pioneering Green Technology

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By Lex Coors, Interxion

When you think of March, you might think of St. Patrick’s Day. And what color immediately comes to mind? Green.

But today, the color green has taken on a brand new significance as the symbol of the booming green energy movement. That has become a vital component of Europe’s economy—including the nation where St. Patrick’s Day originated.

Demonstrating green practices can be a notable business differentiator for service providers looking to sell services to the European market.

Europeans care strongly about sustainability: slightly more than eight in ten E.U. citizens felt that environmental impact was an important element when deciding which products to buy.

One example of this practice is Taxi Stockholm – which has an initiative to be completely free by 2025, an initiative that extends to their data center and IT service provider Devinix as well.

So, for U.S. companies that are trying to take advantage of the European market, colocating in data centers committed to both using green technology and innovating new efficiency measures is a way to distinguish themselves from their competitors. 

At Interxion, energy efficiency is a company-wide policy, with energy-saving measures built right into its datacenters. For more than 20 years Interxion has pioneered energy-saving designs and harnessed everything from arctic winds to underground aquifers to the Baltic Sea to reduce its energy use and thus reduce its carbon footprint. 

For data center providers, much of the daily operations involve ensuring the equipment is kept cool to ensure customers’ mission critical applications are kept running 24/7/365. Interxion is innovating and implementing advanced energy-efficient cooling technologies: for example, free-cooling reduces the use of electricity, which is still predominantly produced from conventional fuels. These energy efficiency measures are examples of Interxion making a positive environmental contribution for its industry and its customers.

In addition to energy efficiency, Interxion pioneered the use of 100% sustainable energy sources, including water, solar, and wind to power its data centers across Europe. And between 2017 and 2019, Interxion chose to redeem all of its data centers’ electricity usage in the form of renewable energy produced in Europe, either via supplier’s green tariffs or Guarantees of Origin. 

Interxion has played a critical role in the sustainability efforts of its host cities. A notable example is Stockholm: in the 1970s, Stockholm took energy efficiency to a new level by building infrastructure that reused excess heat to warm households in the city. Interxion is a key partner in this groundbreaking initiative: together with Stockholm Exergi, Interxion is transferring the excess heat energy into residential heating. In 2018, Germany’s two biggest TV networks traveled to Interxion’s Stockholm facility to film documentaries about the city’s power-saving technology with hopes that other countries or cities will soon adopt similar practices.

In Denmark, Interxion has developed groundwater cooling as an energy-saving measure. Previously, cooling in the summer months had been based on traditional refrigeration machines that used a lot of power. But Interxion worked with the city of Ballerup to develop a groundwater-based cooling system that can replace the traditional refrigerants with geo-energy. The result is a system that, summer and winter, can always provide sufficient cooling while significantly reducing energy consumption.

Denmark and the whole Nordic region have evolved into Europe’s leaders in energy efficiency. Not only are Interxion’s Nordic facilities designed specifically with byproducts like excess heat in mind, they are among the only data center providers covering the whole of Europe with 100% sustainable energy. Hyperscalers like Apple and Google have applauded the Nordics for their energy efficient data centers.

The great supply of power from sustainable sources like hydro- and wind power combined with the cold climate makes the Nordics an ideal place for building sustainable data centers. Due to this and a fast-growing market in Northern Europe, Interxion is seeing an increased number of hyperscale data center projects emerging in both Denmark and Sweden.

Green-laden Ireland is another region in Europe where energy efficiency is thriving. The Emerald Isle’s temperate climate makes it perfectly suited for free-air cooling, which uses approximately 40% less electricity than typical cooling methods. In addition to energy efficiency, Ireland is a leader in sustainable energy: 26% of the energy that Ireland produced in 2016 came from sustainable sources. It also possesses the third-highest wind penetration in the world. In fact, Ireland has set a target of having 40% of all its energy generated from renewable sources by 2020. It’s quite ambitious, but completely reachable.

In addition to sustainable energy, Interxion’s Ireland data centers are making major contributions in energy efficiency. Interxion has pioneered new approaches to data center design and management, including improvements around power usage effectiveness and the industry’s first-ever modular approach to data center design. Interxion even designed its newest Ireland data center DUB3 with a specific focus on energy-saving modular architecture, incorporating cooling and maximum efficiency components. 

Interxion’s efficient and sustainable facilities have changed the conversation around data centers. Once feared as a source of pollution, data centers are now embraced for their energy contributions to surrounding communities. Enterprises that wish to boost their business in energy-conscious Europe have also embraced data centers equipped with green technology.

With such enormous benefits to the data center industry, environment, and local communities, it is easy to imagine Interxion’s green energy initiative is a win for all.