Data Center Brain

Data Center Expansion – Demanding Airflow Management

The reality is simple: the data center has become the brain, or central nervous system of any organization. And, this ‘brain’ is getting pretty smart. Today’s executives are demanding new technologies to help their organizations respond to changing business conditions with agility and flexibility. As a result, data center trends are evolving rapidly and spending is expanding. Air flow management (AFM) is a great example. In fact, some leaders in the AFM space are even incorporating things like AI and cognitive solutions to improve management and overall efficiency.

Looking at the market in general, the AFM industry was valued at $419.8 Million in 2016. However, according to MarketsandMarkets Research[1], the market is expected to reach $807.3 Million by 2023, at a CAGR of 9.24% between 2017 and 2023. What’s driving this growth? The growing demand for green data centers globally. In fact, an increasing number of data centers worldwide and improving cooling efficiency and thermal management in data centers are driving factors around the growth of green solutions and the evolving environmental management market. It is important to note the difference between a computer room and a data center.

While they are both mission critical spaces, ASHRAE 90.4 Energy Standard for Data Centers[2] defines a computer room as a room or portions of a building serving an ITE load less than or equal to 10 kW or 20 W/sq. ft. or less of conditioned floor area. A data center is a room or building, or portions thereof, including computer rooms being served by the data center systems, serving a total ITE load greater than 10 kW and 20 W/sq. ft. of conditioned floor area.

AFCOM State of the Data Center Reporting

When it comes to the growing number of data centers, respondents from the latest AFCOM State of the Data Center report[3] expect meaningful increases in all data center measures over the next three years. Data center growth looks to be mostly on the upswing across the board. As the report indicates:

  • Already, the average number of data centers per organization (including remote sites, computer rooms, clean rooms, and edge) is about 12. This will increase to 13 over the next 12 months and jump to nearly 17 over the next three years.


Source: AFCOM State of the Data Center Report, 2019

  • Respondents further indicated that, on average, more than four data centers will be built over the course of the next 12 months per organization — and nearly five more over the course of three years.

And with this growth comes new requirements and demands around operational and environmental optimization. Administrators are being tasked with delivering much more, while still retaining optimal efficiency levels. Remember, globally, data center power consumption has been growing. In fact, global market research firm IDC reports[1] that energy consumption per server is growing by 9% per year globally as growth in performance pushes demand for energy. As more organizations place their environments into the data center, energy efficiency and data center management have become extremely important for multiple reasons. Not only are data center administrators working hard to cut costs – they’re also working overtime to minimize management overhead and improve infrastructure agility.

So, how do you keep up with the pace of demand? How do ensure that your business and data center ecosystem operate as efficiently as possible? You deploy next-generation tools which elevate your environmental management capabilities. Future designs absolutely need to take things like airflow and efficiency into consideration early in the data center architecture and deployment process. New kinds of demands require modern organizations to rethink their data center environment, the ways they deliver critical resources, and how they can improve overall efficiency within their infrastructure.

This blog is an expert from the reference guide entitled: Using Environmental Management Solutions to Build Sustainable Data-Centric Spaces.  Download the reference guide to read the the document in its entirety.

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[1] Source: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/airflow-management-market-134545888.html
[2]Source: https://www.ashrae.org/about/news/2016/data-center-standard-published-by-ashrae
[3]Source: https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/afcom/how-data-center-industry-supporting-digital-transformation-2019