Data Center Energy Consumption and Efficiency Trends

Data CenterAs the digital transition continues to gain traction, due in part to the massive growth of the internet, data center energy consumption continues to receive a lot of public attention. With energy efficiency being a hot topic, what is the role data centers will play in our overall energy consumption?

A recent report titled, United States Data Center Energy Usage Report, “estimated historical data center electricity consumption back to 2000, relying on previous studies and historical shipment data, and forecasts consumption out to 2020 based on new trends and the most recent data available.” The report included data from centers as small as closets to as big as hangar-sized buildings. Some of the main findings in this report include:

  • Data Center energy consumption has remained steady since 2010
  • Data Center energy accounts for just under 2% of total U.S. electricity consumption
  • Data Center electricity consumption is projected to maintain a low growth rate through 2020
  • Data Center servers installed are projected to increase by 40%
  • Smaller Data Centers account for 60 percent of all data center energy use and are often the most inefficient


There are a number of factors that have contributed to the overall efficiency of the data center:

Hyperscale Data Centers
These hyperscale data centers are designed by companies to provide a single, massively scalable computer architecture. These companies have made improvements in server utilization, energy efficiency and cooling equipment, which they are then able to lease out to others. The growth in applications that are deployed in the cloud or in data center provider facilities has continued to grow steadily.

Cooling and Powering Strategies
Out with the old and in with the new. The age of blasting air conditioning to prevent servers from overheating is over. Today, companies use liquid cooling and hot aisle isolation, amongst other strategies, to help improve efficiency while keeping the data center cool.

Servers are becoming more powerful and efficient, which allows industry professionals to utilize more of each server’s total capacity. Data centers are scaling back the electricity that is drawn by idle servers in addition to reducing the actual amount of servers being used.

Cloud Virtualization
Cloud computing services are quickly becoming one of the main drivers of data center efficiency. Cloud service providers are able to optimize energy, while providing a low cost environment for companies to store their data.


Data center energy consumption will continue to be an important topic into 2020 and beyond. It is important that companies continue to increase efficiency to reduce their consumption footprint. Innovative ideas, such as a company in France creating an energy storage system based on used batteries from electric cars, will help drive this downward trend.


For information about Key Information Systems’ Data Center efficiency practices or to partake in a Data Center Demo, please Contact Us Today!


Author: Drew W.
Key Information Systems