Data Center News

Equinix to “Adjust the Thermostat” to Optimize Data Center Energy Use

Equinix

First Colocation Data Center Operator to Commit to More Efficient Temperature and Humidity Standards

Equinix announced its commitment to reducing its overall power use by increasing operating temperature ranges within its data centers – the first such commitment by an operator of colocation data centers. Starting immediately, Equinix will begin to define a multi-year global roadmap for thermal operations within its data centers aimed at achieving significantly more efficient cooling and decreased carbon impacts, all while continuing to deliver the premium operating environment Equinix is known for. Over time, this initiative is expected to enable thousands of Equinix customers to reduce the Scope 3 carbon emissions associated with their data center operations as supply chain sustainability becomes an increasingly important part of the overall environmental initiatives of today’s businesses.

IT equipment within data centers, including routers, servers and storage arrays, emit high levels of heat that requires data centers to be fitted with robust cooling systems to remove that heat. “Most datacenters operate within restrictive temperature and humidity bands, resulting in environments that are unnecessarily cooler than required,” said Rob Brothers, Program Vice President, Datacenter Services, IDC. “Equinix will work with enterprises to change the way we think about operating temperatures within data center environments and how the industry can ensure optimal service levels for mission-critical digital infrastructure, while improving data center efficiencies. With this initiative, Equinix will play a key role in driving change in the industry and help shape the overall sustainability story we all need to participate in.”

“As a long-time partner, we are pleased to see that Equinix is driving efficient data center operations through smart, sustainable operating practices,” said Sue Preston, vice president and general manager, Advisory and Professional Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). “Optimizing data center temperatures results in more efficient operations, benefitting businesses and the planet. Through the HPE GreenLake alliance, both HPE and Equinix offer a comprehensive, cloud-smart and sustainable customer solution.”

As a part of this new efficiency initiative, Equinix expects to operate its facilities closer to 27°C (80°F), aligning operating limits across its global data center portfolio with the globally accepted boundaries of the A1A standards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). When combined with existing Equinix initiatives such as optimizing the use of outside air temperatures to cool its data centers, this new initiative will contribute to the overall sustainability of its data centers through efficiency improvements measured through Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). PUE represents the total amount of power being used by a data center divided by the power used to run the IT equipment within the data center, providing an industry standard for data center energy efficiency.

“Our cooling systems account for approximately 25% of our total energy usage globally,” said Raouf Abdel, Executive Vice President, Global Operations for Equinix. “With this new initiative, we can intelligently adjust the thermostat in our data centers in the same way that consumers do in their homes. Once rolled out across our current global data center footprint, we anticipate energy efficiency improvements of as much as 10% in various locations.”

“Data centers are critical to our daily lives, housing the equipment and interconnecting the businesses that fuel our digital lives – from online shopping to sending emails to streaming movies and video calls,” said Jon Lin, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Data Center Services for Equinix. “As more than 10,000 businesses globally rely on Equinix’s digital infrastructure, it plays a critical role in their supply chains. This initiative, once deployed, has the potential to significantly benefit these businesses as they seek to reduce the Scope 3 carbon emissions in their supply chain to meet their overall climate targets. It marks an important step in our comprehensive sustainability program and our climate-neutral commitment.”

Highlights/Key Facts

  • Equinix was the first in the data center industry to commit to becoming climate neutral, aligned to approved science-based targets, for emissions reduction across its global operations and supply chain by 2030.
  • Equinix recently signed two new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in Finland for the creation of new renewable energy generation, bringing its total renewable energy capacity under long-term contract globally to approximately 300MW.
  • Equinix’s renewable energy coverage has been over 90% since 2018. In 2021, the company achieved 95% renewable energy coverage

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