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Energy strategies for cloud-focused data centres in Malaysia

AvantiKumar | Oct. 2, 2012
APC by Schneider Electric Malaysia's vice president discusses some of the current trends as well as the myths in managing energy in data centres in the age of cloud computing.

John Atherton  - APC by Schneider Electric (new)

PHOTO - John Atherton, vice president, IT BU, APC by Schneider Electric

 

During a recent interview with Computerworld Malaysia, APC by Schneider Electric, vice president, IT BU, John Atherton outlined the current data centre energy management scenario from the Malaysian perspective with the support of data from the Cloud Computing Playbook, Eco-Business Briefing Document, IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Datacenter Infrastructure Management (DCIM) 2011 Vendor Analysis-White Paper, Data Centre Map website, Green Prospects Asia website and  Enterprise Innovation, Article: Eyeing cloud opportunities, Preparing data centres; for the move to keep all information at regional level.

 

What are the current regional trends in energy management in data centres?

Businesses are facing increased pressure of financial, environmental and legislative nature to live up to their corporate social responsibility. They are urged to take stronger action not only to reduce costs when deploying IT technology. Previously, the focus of all energy saving measures was on end-user products. Recently, however, the attention has shifted to data centre energy efficiency, starting with IT infrastructures and continuing to the power supply and cooling infrastructures.

In Malaysia, the government is tightening energy efficiency requirements through legislation such as the National Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan (2010) with a goal of increasing renewable energy from one percent to 5.5 percent of the electricity supply by 2015, according 'Malaysian feed-in tariffs: Benefiting is believing by Green Prospect Asia, 3 October 2011.'

The power demand in Malaysia is expected to rise five percent annually from 2011 to 2015, and without strong renewable energy policies in place, Malaysia will soon be confronted with its own "energy dilemma."  Malaysians need to be aware that our energy is one of the highest subsidised in the region, resulting in our consumption of energy being the highest in the region as well.

There has been a shift towards responsible IT infrastructure that will allow more data centres the uptake for green data centres across ASEAN, which is constantly increasing in countries such as Singapore. All of the data centres in Singapore emphasise Green IT and energy conservation. The government has put in place initiatives to encourage data centres to go green under the national green data centre strategy. These include the creation of a green data centre standard and creation of an isolated environment to test energy-efficient measure for data centres. The trend is still gaining traction in countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Data centres alone account for two to three percent of the total energy use in Asia. With IT contributing four to five percent of total energy, greening the IT department is a critical step towards environmental sustainability and carbon reduction. (according to Eco-Business Briefing Document, Answer No.4)

 

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