Energy Efficiency guidelines of Indian Datacenteres

  • Introduction

India becoming the hub of IT activities, the increasing IT business process outsource from foreign countries has resulted in phenomenal growth of Datacenters in India. The total datacenter capacity in India is growing at a rapid pace and is predicted to exceed 5.1 million square feet by 2012*, which translates to a compounded Annual Growth Rate of 25-30% in IT businesses.

Datacenters are highly energy intensive which means high cost on the organization for its operation. Increasing energy cost has imposed tremendous pressure on the developers for energy efficient Datacenters by design. It also compels the users style and operate their Datacenters in an energy efficient manner.

Indian Datacenters
Indian Datacenters

Energy efficiency in Datacenters offers three fold benefits:

  1. Increased national availability of energy
  2. Reduction in operating costs
  3. Enhanced efficiency in datacenter design & operation resulting in global climate change mitigation

With this background, Bureau of Energy Efficiency – an independent body working under ministry of power, government of India has taken an initiative to bring out best operating practices that might  result in energy efficiency and style guidelines for Datacenters. BEE had earlier formulated Energy Conservation code (ECBC) to market energy efficiency in commercial building sector. The code has been well received across the country. Subsequent to ECBC, BEE has now brought out a Manual on best operating practices and style guidelines for Energy Efficiency in Indian Datacenters.

As the trend shifts to paper-based to digital information management, Datacenters have become common and essential to the functioning of business systems. A Datacenter is facility that has concentrated depository of varied equipment like servers, data storage devices, network devices etc. Collectively, this equipment processes, stores, and transmits digital information and is understood as Information Technology (IT) equipment. Fundamentally, the Datacenter may be a physical place that houses a computer network’s most crucial systems, including backup power supplies, air con , and security applications. 

  • Datacenter growth trend

The Datacenter industry is in the midst of a major growth. The increasing reliance on digital data is driving a rapid increase within the number and size of Datacenters. This growth is the result of several factors, including growth in the use of internet media and communications and growth within the need for storage of enormous digital data. For example, Internet usage is increasing at approximately 10 percent per annum worldwide (Source : comScore Networks 2007) and has directly fuelled the expansion of Datacenters.

From simple data storage to a complicated global networking, Datacenters play a significant role and have become an integral part of the IT spectrum. However, the energy consumption of it have also grown with these activities. From 2000 to 2006, the energy used by it and therefore the power and cooling infrastructure that supports them has doubled. In the United States of America (USA), the electricity usage of Datacenters is estimated at about 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) which forms about 1.5% of the entire energy consumption of USA.

  • Present View and future growth of Datacenters in India

India being the nerve center for all IT activities and therefore the outsourcing activities that demands high storage resulting in phenomenal growth of Datacenters in India. With the increase in business volume, the Indian data centre services market is poised to witness rapid climb within the coming years. The total Datacenter capacity in India is expected to grow from 2.3 million square feet in the year 2008 to 5.1 million square feet by the year 2012 and is projected to grow has been 31 % from 2007 to 2012 (Source: Gartner, INC). The storage demand which has been increased from one petabyte in 2001 to 34 petabytes in 2007 (Source: Gartner, INC) has resulted in existing Datacenter capabilities being fully utilized and, consequently, the need has arisen to build more capacity.

  • Sources of Datacenter power consumption

Power usage distribution during a typical Datacenter is shown in figure 1. From the figure 1, we understand that the IT equipment and its cooling system consume a serious chunk of power in a Datacenter. Also, the cooling requirement during a Datacenter is predicated  on the energy intensity of IT load within the Datacenter. Therefore, energy savings in IT load would have a direct impact on the loading of most of the support systems such as, cooling system, UPS system, power distribution system units and has thereby has effect on overall energy performance of the Datacenter Typically the cooling system consumes 35 – 40 you look after the entire Datacenter electricity use. Demands of cooling systems that have increased substantially with the introduction to high density servers. As a result of, the cooling system represents that the second highest energy consumer next to IT load.

Power Usage in a Datacenter
Power Usage Distribution in a Datacenter
  • Classification of Datacenters

Datacenters are often classified into two types namely Internet Datacenter (IDC) and Enterprise Datacenter (EDC).

  1. Internet Datacenter

It, also referred as co-location & managed Datacenter, are built and operated by service providers. However, IDCs also are built and maintained by enterprises whose business model is based on internet commerce. The service provider makes a service agreement with their customers to provide functional support to the customer’s IT equipment.

The service provider’s IDC architecture is analogous thereto of enterprise IDC architecture. However the scalability requirement of enterprise IDC is lower due to a smaller user base and therefore the  services provided are less.

  1. Enterprise Datacenter

Enterprise Datacenters support many various functions that enable various business models. Enterprise Datacenters has been evolving, and this evolution been partly a result of new trends in application environments, like the n-tier, web services, and grid computing, it’s mainly because of the criticality of the data held in Datacenters.

  • Other major factors in site selection

Power availability area and low power tariff Preferred Seismic Zone below zone 3

Sufficient Water availability ( for giant Datacenter as water cooled systems have better energy efficiency) Free from security threats


The principal advantages of designing of Datacenters in accordance with TIA-942 include: Standard nomenclature

  • Fail -safe operation
  • Robust protection that has against natural or human made disasters
  • Long-term reliability, flexibility and scalability
  • Datacenter tiers 

Datacenter tier standards define the supply factor of a Datacenter facility. The tier system provides an easy and effective means for identifying different Datacenter site infrastructure design topologies. The standards has been comprised of a four-tiered scale, with Tier 4 being the most robust.

  • Datacenter architecture

Datacenter power delivery system has been provides backup power, regulates voltage, and makes necessary alternating current/direct current (AC/DC) conversions. The power from the transformer is first supplied to an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) unit. The UPS acts as a battery backup to stop the IT equipment from experiencing power disruptions. A momentary disruption in power could cause huge loss to the corporate . In the UPS the power is converted from AC to DC to charge the batteries. Power from the batteries is to reconverted from DC to AC before leaving the UPS. Power leaving the UPS enters an influence Distribution Unit (PDU), which sends power directly to the IT equipment in the racks. The continuous operation of IT equipment generates a considerable amount of warmth that needs to be faraway from the Datacenter for the equipment to work properly. Precision

Air Conditioners (PAC) are wont to remove the warmth generated within Datacenters to the outside atmosphere. Two most vital parameters which the PACs should maintain within the Datacenter space is temperature and humidity. The conditioned air flow from the PAC is supplied to the IT equipment through a raised floor plenum. Datacenters use significant amount of energy to provide three key components: IT equipment, cooling, and electrical system. The three key components are covered individually in the coming chapters.

Typcal Datacenter power consumption architecture
Typical Datacenter power consumption architecture

The main objectives of this manual are to:

  • Identi fy best operating parameters for Indian Datacenters
  • Identify and collate the best practices in Indian and International Datacenters which can be replicated in various Datacenters to realize energy efficiency
  • Identify the art of state technologies adopted in various energy efficient Datacenters which successively are often adopted in other Datacenters to realize excellence in energy savings
  • Data Center Electrical System

Every datacenter is unique in its operation and need. The infrastructure of a datacenter is customized counting on the mission it performs. It requires reliable operation of all the systems by the virtue of its business criticality. Today, technology is available to provide solutions which would bring down the power disruptions increasing the business proportion. It is necessary to possess the Infrastructure like Products, Systems and Services that adequately meet the necessity as per the specified tier of availability. In addition, it is essential to understand the technology implemented during a datacenter to reinforce information security and critical system protection.

Enhancing the efficiency by choosing high-efficiency equipment intentionally is usually overlooked due to its high initial cost. However, considering total ownership cost makes the payback period to be attractive and viable. Rising equipment densities often as relates to increased criticality as companies deploy new applications that increase the business strategy dependence on Datacenter systems. Having dynamic response to changes in density, capacity and availability created by new technologies has changing the business conditions, a greater operating of flexibility, higher system availability and lower operating costs can be achieved.

  • Electrical requirements of Datacenter

The power requirement for IT equipment racks have changed in last 10 years thanks to development in technology. In the recent years, the number of power receptacles required to support a fully populated rack grew from 14 to 84, as a result the entire rack power consumption increased from 4 kW to quite 20 kW. The emergence of blade servers is driving change. Today, a standard rack can house six dual-corded blade chassis operating at 208 Volts, single phase, with an influence consumption of 24 kW. This evolution has left Datacenter managers handling rising power consumption, increased demand for circuits, and greater diversity across the power . These challenges have created the need for an influence infrastructure capable of adjusting to changes within the amount of devices, the density of those devices and where those devices are located.

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