How AI is boosting data centre efficiency

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Efficiency: a watchword in data centre land that has grown in significance to encompass far more than simple cost savings.

Eye-catching statistics about the impact of the IT industry on the environment mean that today’s efficiency drives are as much about ensuring sustainability as they are about improving reliability, scalability, competitive advantage – and, of course, the bottom line – for operators and tenants.

AI to the rescue?

The opportunities to improve efficiency within a data centre environment are wide-ranging, but with so many variables involved, the task can seem a daunting one. The power of AI’s all-seeing eye for detail and its ability to handle enormous amounts of data can be a vital tool in helping to make these business-critical facilities more environmentally responsible places – where capital and operational expenses are minimised as part of the deal.

From our perspective as a colocation provider, a natural place to begin is by looking at the high-level infrastructure factors for which we are responsible, before covering a few areas of AI intervention that data centre tenants might consider.

Energy management, demand response and optimisation

AI can analyse real-time data on energy consumption, temperature, and other environmental factors within a data centre.

From this data, machine learning algorithms can predict patterns and identify opportunities to optimise cooling systems and manage power distribution more efficiently. This can lead to reduced energy consumption and lower operational costs.

Predictive maintenance

The health of data centre assets such as servers, switches, power infrastructure and cooling equipment can be tracked by AI. By automatically detecting anomalies and patterns characteristic of impending hardware failures, AI can alert data centre operators to perform maintenance before serious issues occur, simultaneously minimising downtime and mitigating waste by getting the longest lifespan out of equipment.

Cooling management

Data centre cooling systems can be complex and energy intensive. AI can interrogate and react to temperature data in real time from sensors – taking into consideration airflow patterns and cooling system performance to optimise cooling strategies. By adjusting cooling based on actual conditions, energy consumption can be reduced without compromising hardware integrity.

Anomaly detection and security

AI can monitor network traffic and server behaviour to identify abnormal patterns that might indicate security breaches or unauthorised access. By detecting threats in real-time, data centres can respond promptly to potential security risks.

A little closer to the coal face: how can AI help improve efficiency for data centre tenants?

Resource allocation and load balancing

The long-recognised wisdom and practice of load balancing can be taken to the next level by AI algorithms, which can dynamically manage server workloads by allocating resources based on real-time demand. This ensures that computing resources are distributed optimally across your hardware footprint – improving overall system performance and reducing the need for additional hardware.

Server consolidation

AI can analyse historical usage patterns to identify periods of low demand. During these times, AI can consolidate workloads onto fewer servers and power down others, leading to energy savings and reduced operational costs.

Efficient hardware configuration

AI can recommend the most suitable hardware configurations based on workload requirements. An invaluable helping hand in ensuring the right balance of processing power, memory, storage, and networking capabilities – a great way to resolve the under-versus-over-provisioning conundrum.

Predictive maintenance

Just as AI can alert facility operators to potential faults in infrastructure assets, the same benefit can be extended to IT managers overseeing server farms and associated hardware. Longer equipment lifespan, less rip-and-replace, greater uptime.


Even these few examples show the potential is there for AI to support and enhance existing efficiency measures within the modern data centre, where it can play a key role in helping to satisfy the requirements of multiple stakeholders. From the capital and operational efficiencies that have long been goals for operators and tenants, through to the ever more important requirement to satisfy regulatory compliance and initiatives that support environmental responsibility, the “AI efficiency boost” can help us to make data centres the long-term sustainable concerns they really need to be.