As businesses reel from the shock of yet another potential price increase from electricity provider Eskom and pressure increases to reduce carbon footprints, technologies that alleviate these issues are becoming more prominent.
Earlier in 2009, Eskom was given approval to institute a 31,3% tariff increase. A further increase of this nature could put tremendous pressure on organisation in an already difficult economic period. In addition to that, the economy has been relatively slow in recovering, which means that organisations continue to look to improved operational efficiencies to weather the storm.
“Data centres are evolving and advancing by focusing on power efficiencies and green initiatives,” says Dr Angus Hay, executive head of technology at Neotel. “Also, the need to drive down operational costs and a continued skills shortage in the South African ICT market will lead to a bigger uptake of data centre services in the future.
“We have seen a number of shifts toward the green agenda,” says Hay. King III puts a lot of emphasis on the corporate governance aspect of being more environmentally friendly, and thereby ensuring long-term sustainability. There has also been a call from Sustainability SA for government to bring a local version of the carbon credits system into the country, which will encourage businesses to be more environmentally friendly. “This may include a tax rebate for those organisations who willingly ensure they look after the environment during all their operations, and this is where the shared data centre will make a tremendous impact,” he says.
Hay does however highlight that there needs to be a focus on driving innovative data centre designs and operations in order for the full potential to be realised.
“The Neotel data centre is an example of a fresh new approach in the South African market – our data centres are modular in design, with energy efficient technologies allowing the highest data centre density,” he says.
Hay says energy efficiency issues and solutions in the data centre include a design that minimizes power overheads thereby driving power efficiencies all the way to the power socket. “Also, improved cooling techniques such as water-chilled and hot-row cold-row methods, will further limit power utilization."