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AI-powered Efficiency: Redefining Energy Usage in Indian Data Centres

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In today’s digital era, data centres are the powerhouses that actively manage the immense flow of information—to keep our interconnected world running. India’s data centre landscape reflects this technological revolution, witnessing a staggering 48% growth over the past three years, boosting its installed capacity from 540 MW in 2019 to an impressive 800 MW by 2022.

However, this progress comes at a cost, as large-scale data centres are voracious energy consumers, each demanding enough electricity to power a small town. Enter artificial intelligence (AI)—a beacon for sustainability in this energy-intensive domain. It serves as the crucial catalyst for greener data centres, adeptly managing energy optimisation, cooling systems, and resource allocation to minimise the environmental footprint of these digital behemoths.

AI is a powerful ally in driving sustainability.

India’s data centres, accounting for 2% of the nation’s total power consumption, rely mainly on fossil fuels and pose a formidable environmental challenge with a substantial carbon footprint. This considerable energy consumption has significant social and economic implications, necessitating a strategic intervention.

Compounding these concerns is the exponential growth of data centres, intensifying the strain on India’s already overtaxed power grid and further burdening the nation’s energy resources. With the surging demand for digital services and expanding data-driven technologies, there is a critical need for a sustainable approach to powering these technological hubs.

In response, AI emerges as pivotal, not just in mitigating immediate power consumption issues but in safeguarding the environmental and economic interests of the nation. By combining automation, AI, and analytics on a single platform, organisations can achieve enhanced insights and predictions. This empowers better decision-making and proactive issue resolution, thereby directly impacting data centre performance.

As we journey through the uncharted territories of a data-driven future, prioritising energy efficiency in data centres is not merely a technical consideration; it’s a strategic imperative for our nation’s long-term welfare. Delving deeper into the transformative capabilities of AI in data centres, let us explore specific strategies that transform efficiency and sustainability.

Optimised Cooling Systems

One of the primary contributors to the energy consumption of data centres is the need for efficient cooling systems. Traditional methods often use excessive power, but AI algorithms can change the game. By continuously analysing temperature controls and adapting in real-time, AI significantly reduces energy consumption in cooling—boosting efficiency and reducing environmental impact. According to a report by EY, companies can save up to 40% of the power used for data centre cooling by employing AI intelligently. Predictive analytics, anomaly detection, and fault prevention play a pivotal role. They mitigate issues via automated actions, preventing temperature and cooling-related controls from causing business interruptions and system downtimes.

 Predictive Maintenance

AI’s capabilities extend beyond energy efficiency to system maintenance. By leveraging vast datasets, AI can predict potential equipment failures before they happen. This predictive approach allows data centre operators to schedule maintenance tasks strategically, minimising downtime and emergency repairs. The result was increased operational longevity and a reduction in overall energy consumption. Extended observability utilises prescriptive AIOps to provide businesses with deep insights into the IT landscape by integrating three pillars of observability—metrics, logs, and traces. It feeds powerful visualisations to drill down on the monitored data to ensure minimal downtime and a smoother stakeholder experience.

Server Optimisation

In the quest for energy efficiency, AI optimises server workloads. Adjusting resources in real-time based on demand stops servers from getting more resources than necessary. This makes operations smoother and reduces energy-heavy processes linked to too much hardware. Using AI to optimise servers is crucial for a more sustainable data centre. An AIOps-driven automation framework bolsters an organisation’s managed services, optimising operations, ensuring efficient system surveillance, and drastically reducing Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR). It detects, diagnoses, and resolves issues while seamlessly talking to all modules, even before the user knows there is a problem in the system.

 Energy consumption monitoring

Continuous monitoring of energy consumption is key to effective energy management in data centres. AI provides real-time insights into power consumption patterns, enabling operators to identify areas where energy can be conserved. This granular level of monitoring, coupled with AI-driven analysis, empowers data centre operators to make informed decisions to improve overall energy efficiency. This approach hinges on the principle of bringing true observability and open telemetry, enabling automated anomaly root-cause analysis. Observability is also critical for maintaining business continuity in the face of interruptions across infrastructure, applications, security, and experience. Expanding observability across these areas helps organisations proactively tackle disruptions and deliver prompt resolutions.

 AI: Forging a greener future in India’s data centres

As India navigates newer territories in a data-driven era, integrating AI into data centres is not just a choice but a strategic imperative. The role of AI in data centres is transformative, optimising energy usage, curbing waste, and fostering a more sustainable, resilient, and efficient digital infrastructure. Moreover, by embracing hyperautomation and advanced AI/ML capabilities, organisations can decrease reliance on human intervention and achieve an actual NoOps experience.

In conclusion, incorporating AI into India’s expanding data centre industry is not merely a technological advancement but a critical step for sustainability. As our reliance on digital services increases, so does our responsibility to mitigate the environmental impact of data centres, which currently command a sizable portion of the nation’s power resources. AI emerges as a required tool in addressing this challenge, offering a strategic pathway to fortify India’s energy security and advance its ambitious net-zero goals, promising a greener tomorrow.

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