Embedded Data Centers

The data center market continues to evolve at a rapid rate. Embedded data spaces are consolidating as rack density increases and information technology performance increases. Physical data center footprints are shrinking and growing business demands are putting more pressure on data center managers to deliver more, with fewer resources. At the same time, decision-making related to energy efficiency is complex; decisions occur at the speed of business requirements, the level of sophistication in the market varies dramatically, and the subject matter is highly technical. The findings from this research suggest that the following three market interventions have the highest success potential related to energy efficiency in embedded data centers: exploration and refinement of prescriptive measures, including efficient servers, utilization and/or virtualization, and efficient uninterruptible power supplies; a website “clearinghouse” specific to embedded data centers that would serve as an unbiased source of information related to energy efficiency and function as a gateway to link customers to contractors and utility incentives; and promotion of efficient colocation data centers (or “Cloud Services”) and incentivized movement of the data center function from the smaller and less efficient data center to the larger and more efficient colocation data center. Other avenues for market intervention include aligning with existing initiatives, such as NEEA’s commercial sector efforts. NEEA’s current position is to encourage utilities to address this load by either custom measures and or targeted measure programs.

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