New DatacenterDynamics Research Study Predicts Global Data Center Energy Consumption Could Increase 19% By 2012

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Globally, the new study identifies 31 GW of data center power – enough energy to power all residential households in the United Kingdom, France or Italy.

DatacenterDynamics Industry Census 2011

Globally, the Data Center Industry consumes enough energy to power all the domestic households in the United Kingdom.

“The importance of energy to the continued operation and development of data centers is reflected in the priority given to concerns associated with it,” said Nick Parfitt of DatacenterDynamics Research. The publication of the Global Data Center Energy Demand Forecasting study, drawn from respondents to the DatacenterDynamics Industry Census 2011, reveals that 44% of those surveyed believe increased energy costs will impact significantly on their data center operations in the next 12 months.

The DatacenterDynamics Industry Census 2011 is the largest survey ever into the global data center community. Survey respondents are responsible for nearly 100,000 data centers, over 7,000,000 equipment racks and a total power consumption of around 31 GW – enough energy to power all residential households in the United Kingdom, France or Italy.

The rapidly expanding and developing nature of the global data center industry as depicted in the Market Growth report (published 7th September 2011) also has a profound impact of the use of energy; the Global Data Center Energy Demand Forecasting study projects a 19% increase in the rate of data center energy consumption in 2012. Energy costs to power and cool IT servers, storage and network equipment are already the highest data center operating expense.

At the same time, 42% of respondents believe that the development of more energy efficient physical infrastructure such as cooling units, UPS and power distribution equipment, will have significant impact on energy use. Since the introduction of the voluntary EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres and metrics such as the Green Grid’s PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness), there has been greater awareness of the proportion of the power overhead required to support the “productive” energy expended to provide compute cycles (i.e., useful work).

Those surveyed are also trusting in developments in virtualisation (40% - ranked third) to help increase utilisation of IT servers and therefore lower the effective cost of production. Developments such as the uptake of data centre infrastructure management software already integrates the physical layer with virtual machines, helping data center and IT managers to plan capacity requirements as well as physical machine placement, further enhancing resource utilisation and facility efficiency.

Despite the much publicised projections regarding the uptake of Cloud computing (and its preference for high density data center architecture), the DatacenterDynamics Industry Census 2011 sample demonstrates an average power density of around 4.05 kW/ rack. The overall profile is 58% under 5kW/ rack; 28% 5kW-10kW/ rack and 14% racks over 10kW/ rack.

The Global Data Center Energy Demand Forecasting study can be downloaded free by visiting

About the 2011 Data Center Industry Census
The DatacenterDynamics Industry Census 2011 is the largest ever comparative study of data center operators and end-users as well as the facilities which they manage. A total of 5,400 interviews were completed during June and July 2011 to provide a detailed view of 22 key markets around the globe. The Data Center Industry Census provides a useful method of comparing market profiles, describes key trends and attitudes within those markets, and answers a myriad of questions about the nature of this rapidly growing sector. Research findings will be published in separate reports and available for free download at

Editors Note
As a thank you to those respondents who gave their time to the DatacenterDynamics Industry Census 2011, DatacenterDynamics has made a donation of $13,925 to the UNICEF Children’s Emergency fund.

Press Contact:
Damien Wells
Spa Communications
+44 (0) 7900 302102


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