Expected to witness some remarkable developments over the coming years, the global data centre power industry is a key component of the digitalisation trend. Data centre power consumption has changed considerably over a relatively short period of time. This can be attributed to the increasing adoption of cloud computing and IoT solutions and the subsequent rise in the number of data centers worldwide. 

By 2025, 80% of enterprises will migrate away from on-premises facilities in favor of colocation, cloud, or virtualisation alternatives, according to research by Gartner. Datacenter facilities are among the most energy-intensive building types, utilising up to 50 times the energy per floor space compared to a typical commercial office building. In the U.S. alone, data center spaces constitute around 2% of the country’s electricity usage. 

Power consideration is thus an essential element in the designing and efficient functioning of data centres. However, the power that keeps them up and running cannot be an overlooked component. A simple power failure can bring devastative impacts, especially with more and more enterprises turning to cloud and colocation services. A safe and reliable power supply and distribution system are critical to ensure the optimal functioning of a data centre and minimise economic losses. 

As per a research report compiled by Global Market Insights, Inc., the global data centre power market size is set to hit an annual valuation of nearly US$15 billion by the end of 2026. 

Currently, organisations like ABB Ltd., Black Box Corporation, Cummins, Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Eaton Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Toshiba Corporation, Siemens AG, Schneider Electric SE, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and Vertiv Group Co. are some of the notable providers of solutions for data centre power requirements. 

Data center power consumption to soar substantially through 2026

Data centres, on a global scale, utilise over 416 terawatts of electricity per year, which is around 3% of the world’s total electricity generated. It is expected that major cloud service providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft will continue to build massive hyperscale facilities across both developed and emerging regions to up their cloud computing game. Add to that the tremendous requirements for thousands of other tech companies, telecom networks and OTT platforms. 

With more and more facilities being built each year, the amount of electricity required to power them is increasing as well, creating a huge demand for efficient data centre power systems. Additionally, considering the current rate of cloud adoption, the global data centre traffic is anticipated to increase three times in the next few years. This in turn will result in more centre being built, further augmenting the demand for data centre power components. 

Increasing multi-cloud adoption to boost PDU demand 

From large enterprises to multi-tenant and colocation data centres, the shift towards multi-cloud environments and hyper-converged infrastructure is forcing companies to rethink their power supply and distribution requirements to keep pace with the transformation. Consequently, the need for high-performance data centre power systems including power distribution units (PDUs), generators, UPS, and cabling infrastructure is more than ever. 

Leading companies in the data centre power industry are continuously working on bring novel technologies to the market. In January 2019, Eaton Corporation had announced the launch of its new high-density rack power distribution unit (rPDU) platform in North America. The platform is best suited for environments which require high power density and offer advanced configurability. These rPDUs were apparently designed with data centre customers in mind and feature a flexible and configurable solution which allows them to optimise operations and minimise risk as the power demand rises. 

Citing another instance, in July last year, Vertiv had unveiled the Vertiv Geist rPDU featuring its latest patented Combination Outlet C13/C19 option which is compatible with C14 and C20 plug types. 

What does the future hold for the global data centre power market?

The global pandemic has had devastative impact on the manufacturing industry during most parts of 2020 due to the global slowdown in the semiconductor industry. Hike in raw materials prices, the shortage of skilled labor, and supply chain disruptions have been among the major roadblocks for industry players amid the current crisis. But the demand for cloud solutions jumped in the period, driving data centre use and sustaining the deployment of power solutions and components.

While the data centre power industry continues to fight the pandemic and its impacts, it will need to overcome numerous other challenges in the near future. High initial investments is a leading factor which may limit the adoption of data centre power solutions, mainly among small and medium size enterprises. Market participants will thus need to design high-performance power solutions while exploring ways to minimise component prices. 

With more and more enterprises leveraging IoT based solutions to meet customer demands, latency requirements will increasingly push them towards edge data centre located closer to end-users in emerging markets. Cisco estimates that more than 94% of computing tasks and workloads will processed in cloud environments by the end of 2021. 

As the demand for cloud infrastructure continues to amplify and service providers increasingly shift towards a cloud-based delivery model, more facilities will be required to accommodate the power intensive high-density servers, strengthening the outlook for data center power solution providers to a great extent.

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Emma Crabtree

Emma Crabtree

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