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Information Technology

Data centre operators must become resource stewards

Schneider Electric 3 mins read

By Joe Craparotta, Vice President of IT Business at Schneider Electric

The energy sector is a major contributor to emissions output, but demand is outpacing the supply of renewable energy. In Australia, the demand is growing, with development exceeding 183,000sqm this year alone and expected to rise. Data centre storage demand has led to $3.8 billion worth of investment into Australia in just the past year. Globally, it is close to $13 billion and rising.

In fact, it is incumbent upon data centre owners and operators, whose industry is responsible for 1-2% of global energy use to focus more on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. With recent research finding that only 33% of sustainability decision-makers at colocation providers say their organisation has a strategic sustainability plan, it’s clear the industry is only just starting its collective sustainability journey.

However, there is a path forward. By creating a bold action plan based on a holistic measurement framework and leaning on modern technology, businesses can accomplish those goals and turn sustainability into a competitive advantage.

A holistic framework and bold action plan pave the way for sustainability

Energy use is just one measure of sustainability. Data centre operators that wish to turn sustainability into a competitive advantage should consider energy use as one part of a larger, holistic sustainability plan.

Understanding a data centre's impact on the environment requires measuring greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste production and impact on the land and biodiversity, in addition to energy consumption. By adopting standardised metrics within those sustainability categories, data centre operators will gain a more thorough view of how their entire value chain impacts the environment.

With metrics in place, organisations can create action plans designed to mitigate the environmental impact of these areas. This will help operators reduce their negative impact on the environment and achieve operational efficiency. Leveraging cutting-edge software tools to help ingest and analyse data to these ends will ensure ongoing sustainability practices.

Software tools to simplify infrastructure management

Each data centre is but one part of a sprawling hybrid IT infrastructure that spans edge deployments and smaller regional data centres. Any failure at the data centre level can cascade to impact the entire IT ecosystem. Limiting failure requires carefully monitoring and measuring the performance of various support systems, such as cooling and energy generation.

A software management system that measures the output and performance of every piece of infrastructure supporting the system is the only way to corral the complexity of a data centre deployment and realise operational efficiencies.

For example, data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) platforms allow operators to monitor, manage, plan and model physical IT infrastructure, even when that infrastructure comprises thousands of devices spread across many sites around the globe. DCIM solutions help simplify management of complex hybrid IT architectures. 

These solutions ingest and analyse data in real time, providing insight into everything from device health to environmental impact, for a truly holistic view of data centre operations. 

Thoughtful resource stewardship creates competitive advantage

Using software to develop and maintain a sustainability action plan does more than increase sustainability efforts. Sustainable operations manage resources in more efficient ways. Efficient operations increase agility and fuel innovation. Innovation improves the customer experience and helps create a digital culture that attracts the best candidates. Creating a more sustainable IT infrastructure has a ripple effect on the organisation’s bottom line, as well as the environment.

The data centre industry will require vast resources to fuel its boom. Data centre operators have a responsibility to act as careful stewards of these resources. Only through careful planning and measurement can operators become the thoughtful stewards the industry needs to flourish. 




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About Schneider Electric 

Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.


Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency.


We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure and industries.We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.

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