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Equinix to ‘adjust the thermostat’ to optimize data center energy use

Equinix to ‘adjust the thermostat’ to optimize data center energy use

Data CentresGreen TechnologyTop Stories

Equinix, a digital infrastructure company, has announced its commitment to reducing its overall power use by increasing operating temperature ranges within its data centers – the first such commitment by an operator of colocation data centers.

Equinix will begin to define a multi-year global roadmap for thermal operations within its data centers aimed at achieving significantly more efficient cooling and decreased carbon impacts, all while continuing to deliver the premium operating environment Equinix is known for.

Over time, this initiative is expected to enable thousands of Equinix customers to reduce the Scope 3 carbon emissions associated with its data center operations as supply chain sustainability becomes an increasingly important part of the overall environmental initiatives of today’s businesses.

IT equipment within data centers, including routers, servers and storage arrays, emit high levels of heat that requires data centers to be fitted with robust cooling systems to remove that heat.

“Most data centers operate within restrictive temperature and humidity bands, resulting in environments that are unnecessarily cooler than required,” said Rob Brothers, Program Vice President, Data Center Services, IDC. “Equinix will work with enterprises to change the way we think about operating temperatures within data center environments and how the industry can ensure optimal service levels for mission-critical digital infrastructure, while improving data center efficiencies. With this initiative, Equinix will play a key role in driving change in the industry and help shape the overall sustainability story we all need to participate in.”

“As a long-time partner, we are pleased to see that Equinix is driving efficient data center operations through smart, sustainable operating practices,” said Sue Preston, Vice President and General Manager, Advisory and Professional Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). “Optimizing data center temperatures results in more efficient operations, benefiting businesses and the planet. Through the HPE GreenLake alliance, both HPE and Equinix offer a comprehensive, cloud-smart and sustainable customer solution.”

As a part of this efficiency initiative, Equinix expects to operate its facilities closer to 27°C (80°F), aligning operating limits across its global data center portfolio with the globally accepted boundaries of the A1A standards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

When combined with existing Equinix initiatives such as optimizing the use of outside air temperatures to cool its data centers, this new initiative will contribute to the overall sustainability of its data centers through efficiency improvements measured through Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). PUE represents the total amount of power being used by a data center divided by the power used to run the IT equipment within the data center, providing an industry standard for data center energy efficiency.

“Our cooling systems account for approximately 25% of our total energy usage globally,” said Raouf Abdel, Executive Vice President, Global Operations for Equinix. “With this new initiative, we can intelligently adjust the thermostat in our data centers in the same way that consumers do in their homes. Once rolled out across our current global data center footprint, we anticipate energy efficiency improvements of as much as 10% in various locations.”

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