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Introducing Critical Facilities
The fact that Apple has sold 100 million iPods in five and a half years makes it easier to understand another startling number: Data center electricity use worldwide doubled between 2000 and 2005, according to a recent study. Music and video downloads are among the reasons that, industry sources believe, data centers in the United States now consume more power than some states.
Hidden inside those numbers is another fact that may surprise folks in finance and IT, if not in facilities: Data center infrastructure already accounts for about half of that electricity use — and the percentage that goes to cooling and other infrastructure elements has been climbing steadily.
As corporate executives come to grasp the cost of energy devoured by mission critical infrastructure, guess who can expect to be called in to explain why data center electricity bills have gotten to be so high?
Of course, it’s not enough for facility executives to control energy costs. The ultimate mission of data centers and other critical facilities — whether laboratories, telecom switching stations or operating rooms — is to deliver high levels of uptime. These critical facilities also raise safety, security and other issues that are very different from conventional facilities. And given organizations’ growing dependence on information, more and more facility executives find themselves responsible for critical spaces.
That’s why we’re launching a new quarterly report, Critical Facilities. We’ll describe today’s challenges, examine emerging solutions and try to provide a glimpse of what’s coming down the road. Take a look at the coverage and let me know what you think — and what you’d like to see us cover in the future.