AI applications are currently straining the already limited resources of data centers, where server racks are drawing load capacities of between 50 and 75 KW. Conversely, without AI, power requirements drop to 8–10 KW. But it’s not all bad news. Integrating AI into your data center can also help enhance its performance, cut energy consumption, and lessen the environmental impact. Add to this the latest patented immersion cooling technology, and your data center operations can expect further reductions in server energy requirements; cooling energy costs by up to 20% and 95%, respectively.
Read on to find out how AI, coupled with immersion cooling, can optimize data center efficiency and best practices in energy management.
How AI Enhances Efficiency and Sustainability in Data Centers
To successfully integrate AI into a data center, you’ll need accurate and high-quality data. Once integrated, AI can optimize power consumption in multiple ways, such as:
- Monitoring traffic patterns and executing data center usage accordingly to minimize power consumption
- Utilizing its predictive maintenance capabilities for timely service and component changes.
Benefits of Implementing AI in Data Centers
Given the amount and types of information that data centers receive, security is paramount. AI systems protect servers from unauthorized access both internal and external. In addition, they help guard against malware and physical breaches, thanks to smart alarm and intrusion detection systems.
With AI, you can power down unused servers and machines, which is a big step toward decarbonization and making the system more efficient. Moreover, this process helps regulate data center operations according to requirements. It’s able to power up more data racks during high demand, and vice versa.
However, despite these multiple benefits, there’s also a major drawback. Integrating AI at this level requires very high computing power. In fact, AI-enabled data center operations have 15 times greater than normal density requirements.
How Does the Growing Demand for AI Impact Data Center Costs?
Data centers are already under the microscope because of the excessive energy they consume. The integration of AI is further straining existing power resources, increasing operational costs. The conundrum here is that, while AI is meant to help data centers reduce power consumption, ultimately, it’s leading to an increase in the same.
A single AI model can take up thousands of kilowatt hours. Generative AI models like ChatGPT can consume 100 times more than that. This is because the graphics processing units for operationalizing AI models are built to draw more power. Additional power is required to operate the system as well as to run the cooling systems. This is where an immersion cooling data center is an innovate solution that can significantly decrease cooling costs.
CAPEX (capital expenditure) is another financial consideration influencing data center operations. Microsoft’s 2023 second quarter CAPEX is $10.7 billion, up from $7.8 in the previous quarter. A major chunk of that is spent on data centers. Then, we also have operational costs (OPEX), such as maintenance, electricity, and service equipment.
According to CBRE’s 2023 Investor Sentiment Survey Results, investments in data centers are slated to increase. The ROI in this industry is positive because the demand for data centers continues to rise. Further, McKinsey predicts that, in the US alone, data center demand will increase by 10% per annum.
How AI Improves Data Center Operations
The world generates tremendous volumes of data every second. As a result, data center operators have to scale their designs and power infrastructure. And this includes cooling systems to manage all the data.
Together, AI and machine learning can operate data centers more effectively. For example:
- AI solutions administer racks and toggle their usage according to the requirements in real-time.
- AI allocates computing power, network bandwidth, and storage based on processing demands.
- The predictive capabilities of AI can help with timely maintenance. Moreover, using historical data and workload patterns, data center operators can optimize capacity planning.
- Once ML and AI have learned normal operational behavior, they can report any sort of deviation; potentially preventing data breaches and hacks.
That said, AI-enabled data server racks do create significant amounts of heat and need quick de-escalation. In addition, data center operators will face compliance challenges as regulatory authorities continue to bring in new operational parameters.
How Data Centers Can Mitigate the Cost Increase Caused by AI
Cloud computing is a phenomenal technology, delivering innovative ways in which to interact and share information. However, these facilities come at a price to the data center operators that need to process huge volumes of information. And it’s here that AI can be used to optimize costs.
AI automatically controls data center equipment to ensure consumption efficiency and reduce power expenditure. Further, it manages the data center power balance, combating cooling and performance degradation by positioning workloads in just the right, most cost-effective energy zones. Moreover, AI-based security setups are able to analyze potential security threats and prevent malicious attacks.
Other ways to reduce the operational overhead of data centers include:
- Smart software design. Removing underused applications and bloatware will decrease power demand, leading to cost reduction.
- Better airflow management. With expert assistance, you can install a robust airflow system to ensure zero air leakage. This dedicates 100% airflow to cooling the servers.
- Immersion cooling. This budget-friendly technology immerses data center equipment in a dielectric liquid. The immersion cooling systems require zero additional space and provide an effective solution for data center operators focused on bringing down the price of cooling.
An Innovative Solution: Immersion Cooling Your Data Center
Data centers have taken a lot of heat because of their increased appetite for power consumption and negative environmental profile. It’s a cause of concern for data center operators, but one that immersion cooling can address on many levels.
GRC’s patented immersion cooling system can easily handle the demands of high performance, high density deployments. It also delivers vastly superior cooling capabilities with greatly reduced power consumption compared with air cooling systems.
GRC’s solution allows you to put more computing in the rack and save valuable space in your data center. Moreover, GRC’s single-phase immersion cooling system has a simplified design that helps you eliminate the operational and maintenance costs of complex components, such as chillers, air handlers, and humidity control systems.
Get in touch with GRC now to learn about powering up—and cooling down—your systems more efficiently.