The conception of data centers as large concrete blocks with big air conditioners and row upon row of open frame racks is no longer accurate. Instead, data centers are more closely mimicking the types of images often seen in science fiction, ZDNet reported.
Lighting is one key area for data center advances. More facilities are turning to intelligent LED lighting systems that sense motion and turn on based on activity. Therefore, a person walking down a row of server racks may have lights turn on ahead of him or her, while turning off after passing by. This can save significant amounts of energy by only having lights on when absolutely necessary.
Power and climate control make up another key area for advanced data center technologies. The report said more facilities are being equipped with automated systems that use sensors to monitor the data center, identify the power and cooling needs of devices and adapt the system output to match hardware needs.
These advanced techniques are all part of a growing trend to make data centers much more efficient than they once were. During Google's recent Data Center Efficiency Summit, efficiency was a major trend, and Google made a number of presentations showing techniques, such as aisle cooling, that can inexpensively reduce energy consumption.