In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), the increasing need for reliable networks has driven smaller data centers to consolidate or in some cases, move to colocation providers where a single server rack may support numerous pieces of equipment.
As a result, power loads continue to increase. A few years ago, for example, an average cabinet within a medium to large data center could deliver 3-4 kW of power. Today, the same cabinet is capable of delivering between 8-15 kW.
Maintaining high power loads at optimum equipment temperatures, all while keeping energy consumption down, is challenging but possible. In fact, according to a 2014 report by the Natural Resources Defense Coucil (NRDC), if only half of the savings potential for data center efficiency were realized, energy consumption in U.S. data centers could be cut by as much as 40 percent. This means there’s still a lot of room for improvement.