With the advent of the new technologies such as the blockchain, AI, and ML that feed on data to come out with the best results, the computing abilities of the current datacenters will have to be upgraded. Datacenters will also have to be utilized to full efficiency as data usage and analysis will be a continuous process. New computing technologies such as the quantum computing, high performance computing, and edge computing will be the future technologies to be looked at.
Edge computing is a technology that will divert most of the data processing from centralized datacenters as analysis is done at the source level where the data is generated instead of the centralized data processing warehouse. This is a new technology which datacenter operators can utilize in near future for reducing the work load on centralized centers.
How the measures taken to improve datacenter operation in India have fared:
Technology in datacenter has not changed drastically in recent past. We saw a lot of traction into solar energy approximately 7-8 years ago, because of the suitable government initiatives taken in India to support solar energy. But after a few implementations, the limitations and the challenges arose such as the efficiency of the energy produced or the energy storage solutions. The practical implementation of Solar energy revealed that less than 60% of energy could only be utilized and this reduced efficiency caused challenges as large solar panels had to be placed, even though good quality continuous high-density power was still an issue.
Land requirement is another limiting factor for unsuccessful implementation of solar energy, for 1KV of solar energy to be produced, we require at least 1mt X 1.5mt area for solar panel erection. So, for running entire DC on solar energy, requirement of land will be enormous. A few datacenters specially the government owned datacenters have abundant land that could be used to implement this technology for their datacenter. Theoretically, the benefits of using a cheaper source of power can help the operators to provide better services or even cut down prices for their clients.
DCs then had to couple the energy produced with energy storage solutions such as batteries that give an efficiency rate of less than 80%. Factoring the limitations such as the land requirement, energy efficiency and data storage problems, the datacenter operators have deemed it not successful and have opted to go back to the traditional power source way.
In data storage, there are bight prospects available in the form of Li-Ion batteries, we can expect majority of the DCs utilizing Lithium Ion batteries in future, even though CAPEX will be increased by 40%, the benefits the batteries provide to the OPEX tilts in favor of using Li-Ion batteries.
Erratic power supply is common in many areas in India, urban areas usually have 2-4-hour power cut and rural areas have 10-12-hour power cut, large quantities of batteries must be deployed for successful usage of data during power cut. Benefits such as 2X life span, maintenance free, and consumption of less space are key factors supporting the implementation of these batteries.
Li-Ion batteries consume only half the space than traditional batteries. If traditional batteries use 1mt X 1mt space, a Li-Ion battery uses only 0.4mt X 0.9mt saving more than 50% space that can be utilized for more racks or other infrastructure.
– Sishir Naren
ICT – Research Analyst