FOCUS 2011 REVIEW
Issue 19, January 2012
THE LASTING IMPACT OF 2011
Yevgeniy Sverdlik looks at some of the stories covered by DatacenterDynamics in 2011 that will impact the industry moving forward
he year 2011 saw a number of developments that will have lasting impacts on the global data center industry. Some were transformative and some were very telling about the industry (Japan’s data centers surviving the earthquake and tsunami in March relatively undamaged).
While Australia introduced its carbon tax, the more developed market in the UK reacted as its government endorsed a tough carbon budget for another five years under its Climate Change Act. This will undoubtedly have an impact on energy availability and cost – and therefore on data center energy efficiency – in one of the world’s densest data center markets.
ASHRAE’s push for hotter data centers will encourage more use of free cooling, reducing energy consumption of data center cooling systems. And the US Department of Energy’s work with China’s data center industry on energy efficiency standards is a chance for a young but quickly growing data center market to “do it right the first time”.
These are only some of the year’s biggest stories. The articles below do not address Google’s and Facebook’s respective releases of
information about their data centers.
Neither do they touch on Verizon’s acquisition of Terremark and Windstream’s acquisition of Savvis. All four of these stories rocked the data center world in 2011 and they are addressed in separate articles in this issue. (See pages 43 and 30 respectively.)
JAPAN — READY FOR THE WORST
Just as the world was looking closely at Japan after its devastating earthquake and the
following tsunami, the world’s data
center industry was looking at the fate of the country’s data centers during and after the disaster that struck its northeast in March.
Atsushi Yamanaka, member of the Japan Data Center Council (JDCC), gave a detailed
presentation on the disaster’s
impact on Japan’s data center industry at the DatacenterDynamics conference in San Francisco in June.
DatacenterDynamics contacted multiple
data center operators immediately after the disaster. Tokyo-based company Nomura Research Institute was one of them. The institute’s counselor Takao Shiino and senior technical engineer Tom Misaki wrote in an email on the day of the earthquake that they had experienced problems with land-line communications, but their data center had not been damaged.
A bigger impact was felt in the disaster’s aftermath, when power shortages created by
Atsushi Yamanaka, member of the Japan Data Center Council, speaks at DatacenterDynamics San Francisco 2011
Data centers in Japan weathered the disaster relatively
unscathed, Yamanaka said. No
critical damage was reported to the council. He attributed this outcome largely to the fact that most of the country’s data centers were located outside of the most severely impacted areas and to the way facilities there were designed.
More than 70% of data centers are concentrated
in the Kanto region, which
includes Tokyo. About 20% are in the Kansai region, and another 9% further south.
Building codes in Japan require strict
resiliency features because the island is highly prone to earthquakes. Most data centers in the country, Yamanaka said, exceed these requirements, which is why facilities that did get a shake were not badly damaged.
shut down of damaged nuclear reactors led to rolling blackouts. The government and Tokyo Electric Company made organizations providing critical services exempt from the blackouts, and JDCC fought tooth and nail — successfully — to convince the government that data centers should have been included in that group.
UK’S FOURTH CARBON BUDGET
UK government has committed to a limit on the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions for another future five-year stretch. The government said the fourth carbon budget would put the country on its way to meet its long-term emission-reduction targets.
The UK’s Climate Change Act of 2008 targets a 34% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from the 1990 level by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050. To guide the process of meeting these targets and to report on the progress, the act created the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The act requires the government to set at least 12 five-year carbon- emission budgets. A five-year budget sets the limit on emissions the nation will produce within the five years it covers.
Budget 1, which covers 2008-2012, allows for 3,018 metric tons of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) gases to be emitted. Budget 2 covers 2013- 2017 and lowers the emission limit to 2,782 metric tons. Budget 3 lowers the limit further, capping total allowed emissions for the 2018- 2022 time frame at 2,544 metric tons.
Each budget increases the percentage of 1990 emissions below the 1990 levels. Budget 3 reduces reduces emissions 34% below what the UK emitted in 1990, for example. The fourth budget lowers the limit to 1,950 metric tons of CO2-equivalent gases for 2023-2027.
The act introduced the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly Carbon Reduction Commitment) as one of the ways to reach the reduction targets, which started as a cap-and- trade scheme, under which organizations are required to buy emission allowances through an auction, but ended up as a straight forward tax.
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