03-03-2016, 13:47 #1
[EN] Cheap Oil Will Boost Data Center ConstructionPeter Judge
Feb 22 2016
Energy cost is a major factor in data center building. The low cost of oil is going to accelerate the construction of new facilities even further, according to recent analyst reports - which underlines what we’ve said here about the uncontrolled expansion of data centers.
Oil prices have declined by 70 percent since 2014, and this will ensure that power remains cheap, and data centers will continue to grow, according to a report from Canalys. The analyst firm is predicting that data center building will grow by eight percent this year - and the emphasis will be on big data centers, rather than small ones - because energy will be less of a constraint on their costs.
At the start of the year, I pointed out that, while individual data centers are getting more efficient, their total number is expanding so fast, that total energy use is growing. Now, this may or may not be a problem, but it’s true.
I was saying that the growth is effectively not controlled, because these data centers are so efficient, they can provide almost unlimited power. Meanwhile, consumer services like Facebook and YouTube delivered by these data centers are effectively free to the consumers, which means they can have pretty-much unlimited demand.
One response I had was that this is a short term anomaly, because energy costs are so low. But with oil prices falling, it seems that isn’t going to change for some time.
Of course, there’s more to it than this, as Canalys analyst Ben Stanton explains: “Oil prices will amplify data center investment this year, but that is just one part of the story. Software-defined environments are unlocking more value in hardware than ever before.”
Virtualization and the re-definition of data centers as software-defined utilities is fueling a big expansion as well as a rebuilding of the infrastructure.
Canalys also points out that political developments are also driving new data center builds. Awareness that foreign governments (or even our own) are very likely snooping on data, is making customers think hard about where to keep that data, moving it to their own countries, or to other countries (like Germany) which apparently have more powerful privacy regimes.
The move to data sovereignty got a boost from the end of the Safe Harbor agreement between Europe and the US. This was partly a fallout from the Snowden revelations, and cases where US authorities are demanding access to material held in cloud data centers.
Now European companies can’t assume that their data is safe in US firms’ hands, so more data centers are expected on European soil. And Russia has passed a law demanding that Russian citizens’ data is kept within Russia, which should have a similar effect there.
One more comment form Canalys shows how electrical power has become more important than hardware in the data center market. As the hardware becomes more commoditized, it gets cheaper and makes up a smaller part of the value in the data center - even at a time when Canalys points out there is a lot of rebuilding and renewing going on.
While the overall market is expected to grow at eight percent, the market for data center infrastructure is expected to grow at not much more than half of that, by 4.5 percent.
Still that represents a $135 billion market for data center kit.
03-03-2016, 13:51 #2
Oil price collapse will accelerate data center investment in 2016
Oversupply of oil in the global economy is set to accelerate data center investment. Canalys forecasts that the large data center segment will grow 8% in 2016, as enterprises and service providers become more ambitious with the size of their facilities. Oil prices have declined more than 70% since mid-2014, and will remain low as production ramps up across the US and Middle East. Data centers, with their monolithic energy consumption, will benefit from cheaper electricity as wholesale gas prices decline. Investment will focus on larger facilities, as energy becomes less of a constraint on operating costs.
Cheaper oil will accelerate a market that is already growing. Pre-eminent cloud service providers have already reacted to data sovereignty concerns by investing in the expansion of their global cloud footprint. This will continue and industry standard servers, network security and virtualization technologies will become key growth categories. Incumbent data center infrastructure vendors will pivot their focus towards high-end large and hyperscale facilities, but will face stiff competition from cheaper ODM alternatives.
‘Oil prices will amplify data center investment this year, but that is just one part of the story’, said Research Analyst Ben Stanton. ‘Software-defined environments are unlocking more value in hardware than ever before. Customers are being forced to rethink their IT strategies with features such as agile on-demand and as-a-service offerings, faster application deployment, and greater infrastructure flexibility and scalability. Additionally, sales processes are becoming increasingly applications-led, which lends itself nicely to digital transformation projects involving big data, analytics and IoT. But infrastructure vendors will not have it all their own way. Hardware will become increasingly commoditized as profit margins transition to software and services. As ASPs fall, shipment values will soften. We forecast that worldwide data center infrastructure value will exceed US$135 billion in 2016, which represents 4.4% growth, but we would expect unit growth to exceed this considerably.’
Data center shipment forecast data is taken from Canalys’ Data Center Analysis service, which tracks the leading data center infrastructure vendors by both shipments and value.
03-03-2016, 13:56 #3
Total energy use is growing
No one talks much about total energy used by data centers because it is annoying, depressing and frustrating compared with just working on making individual data centers work better.
The plain fact is that, no matter how efficiently we run them, data centers are expanding uncontrollably, and consuming increasing amounts of power. In fact, the efficiency improvements are contributing to the rapid growth.
In 2011, Google reported that it used 260MW of electric power. At the end of 2015 it has just announced a colossal bulk purchase of 781MW of renewable power for its data centers. That takes its total renewable usage contracts to 2GW of power.
Now renewable power is only part of the mix of input to Google’s data centers, and the company says renewables make up around 37 percent of its current usage. Right now, before those agreements come in, then, Google must have about 1.2GW of renewable purchase agreements. If that’s 37 percent of the total, that total power use must be around 3.2GW.
In other words, Google’s total power usage seems to have gone up 12-fold in the last four years. That is not far off doubling each year.
This means that even though Google has increased its renewable usage, and plans to phase out fossils, it’s currently using more than ever. The fossil part of its energy is 2GW, or about eight times the total energy in 2011. Google’s efforts to use more renewables have so far not reduced its fossil energy use.
Facebook, Amazon and Apple are definitely growing the same way, and Microsoft and IBM certainly hope they are. These cloud providers are only a small part of the overall data center world (the colos and in-house sites outweigh them) but most sectors are growing.
Most of this rampant growth is in consumer services, things like Facebook, Youtube, Netflix and all kinds of messaging. As long as these things are “free” or very cheap, people will go on consuming more of them indefinitely.
That’s the irony. By offering services really efficiently, the data center industry is fuelling massive growth. It is Jevons’ Paradox once again, the 19th century conundrum proposed by economist William Stanley Jevons, that says if you make a process more efficient, you increase rather than reduce consumption.
Out of our control?
There is little we can do about this. It’s just as hard to stop cheap junk displacing real food in our diet, or to stop fuel consumption going up when the price of oil falls. Watch this last one this year, with oil at a low price per barrel, consumption and emissions will go up, whatever the world leaders promised.
Is there a way to actually curb data center related emissions? I don’t see a world authority ready to limit power use by the Internet. And the only external force that might do something would be taxes…. and as we’ve seen the fragmentation of world society means every state is racing to reduce these.
I don’t see a clear answer but at least let’s face the problem. I suppose data centers still have a smaller role in global warming than other industries, and may displace some small parts of those other industries.
03-03-2016, 14:29 #4
SolarReserve builds 110MW solar plant
25 February 2016
SolarReserve has developed Crescent Dunes solar energy project featuring integrated energy storage technology near Tonopah, Nevada, US, which can supply solar generated electricity 24 hours a day by storing them during the day.
The 110MW solar facility is designed to generate clean electricity by focusing the sun energy onto a receiver using tracking mirrors, known as heliostats, to directly heat molten salt and then store it so electricity can be produced day and night.
Claimed to be the first of its kind in the world, the project's key intellectual property (IP) include SolarReserve's molten salt technology, comprising the molten salt receiver, the heliostat collector field controls and tracking system, as well as the molten salt energy storage system.
SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said: "The climate deal unveiled in Paris has the potential to catalyse a global energy transformation. It will further accelerate implementation of renewables around the world, including within emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America and Asia."
Following synchronization with the Nevada grid, the Crescent Dunes project has generated first test electricity in the fall of 2015.
Power generated from the project will be sold to Nevada's largest electric utility NV Energy under 25-year power purchase agreement.
Smith added: "As renewable energy penetration grows, the need for cost-effective, utility-scale renewable generation with storage technology is becoming increasingly important for mitigating intermittency problems, delivering power into peak demand periods and supporting transmission system reliability.
"Our proven U.S.-developed energy storage technology deployed at the Crescent Dunes facility is already being used as a blueprint for projects in these emerging markets."
SolarReserve said that the solar energy storage technology also delivers renewable base load and dispatchable power that can compete with traditional fossil-fired and nuclear electricity generation methods.
Última edição por 5ms; 03-03-2016 às 14:31.
15-03-2016, 14:35 #5
- Data de Ingresso
- Feb 2016
Well ,With oil prices still down more than 40% since last June and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development downgrading global growth forecasts, many are wondering where oil prices will be in 2016. While predictions for oil at $20.00 per barrel seem a little too bearish, a return of oil to $100.00 a barrel in 2016 might be a little too bullish.When it comes to an oil price forecast in 2016, $65.00 may be the new $85.00.
what's your take on these guys????????