According to a major survey into data centre cooling, UK data centres are achieving poor levels of cooling utilisation with an average 66% of installed cooling equipment not actually delivering any active cooling benefits.
The survey, conducted by thermal risk experts EkkoSense, analysed some 128 UK data centre halls and over 16,500 racks to reveal that the current average data centre cooling utilisation level is just 34%. Given that UK data centre operators continue to invest significantly in expensive cooling equipment, EkkoSense suggests that the root cause of poor thermal compliance across data centres is not actually the lack of cooling capacity but the continued poor management of airflow and a failure to actively monitor and report rack temperatures.
“The fact that thermal issues still account for almost a third of unplanned data centre outages would suggest that the 35% of energy consumption that operators are currently spending on cooling simply isn’t doing the job it needs to. Our ongoing survey into UK data centre cooling clearly shows that, despite their continued reliance on new and more expensive cooling equipment, data centres aren’t doing enough to reduce the risk to the business that unplanned outages inevitably bring,” commented James Kirkwood, EkkoSense’s Head of Operations.
“Clearly its unacceptable from both a risk management and green perspective to maintain such low levels of cooling utilisation, however it’s difficult for data centres to adopt a more pro-active thermal management strategy if they have no way of knowing that all their data centre equipment is actually thermally compliant,” Kirkwood continued. “With our survey also revealing that less than 5% of UK data centre M&E teams currently actively monitor and report temperature on an individual rack-by-rack basis – and even fewer conduct any formal cooling resilience tests – it’s clear that organisations have a long way to go if they’re to successfully achieve their thermal compliance goals.”
EkkoSense offers a data centre optimisation service aimed at helping organisations to address these issues, deploying a specialist team of thermal and cooling experts.