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A new report from Guidehouse Insights examines power industry innovations expected to lower the costs and emissions associated with data centres while increasing IT reliability.

Data centres source most of their power through the local power grid. The utility provides a connection and data centres draw power as needed and then pay bills based on a fixed price.

However, recent changes, pioneered by the largest facilities—called hyperscale data centres—can lead to lower costs, higher reliability, and lower emissions.

These changes include technology and pricing options among utilities, new support systems used by data centres, and services offered by utilities.

Principal research analyst at Guidehouse Insights, William Huighes, said the data processing industry has made great progress in managing power usage since 2010 keeping power demand flat while data processing demand has continued to accelerate.

"Building on this momentum, several approaches in development are in different phases of testing and implementation that promise to minimise costs and reduce carbon emissions while enabling the data centre to achieve its critical availability goals,” he said.

To meet the goals of both industries, Guidehouse Insights recommends that data centes actively embrace the evolving power environment.

“IT solutions vendors should build interfaces and then partnerships, while utilities should partner with data centres within their territory,” Huighes said.

The report, Data Centers: Anticipating Changes in the Power Ecosystem, discusses how organizations shifting processing loads to the cloud are using new strategies to maintain positive trends.

This report reviews data centre approaches to changes in the power ecosystem and presents the benefits and challenges of these efforts.

Successful integration of innovative new technology shows promise for stakeholders and has the potential to enable lower costs for both data centres and the power value chain by shifting loads to low cost and more environmentally friendly power sources.

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