EkkoSense highlights 5 key issues for DCs in 2024

27 November 2023

EkkoSense has identified five key issues that it believes will be key drivers to data centre operations success in 2024. Critical to this will be the ability of data centre operations teams to deliver against increasing ESG requirements while also supporting escalating workloads.

“Running today’s data centres is consistently challenging. The task is only going to get more complex in 2024 as data centre teams strive to balance increasing workloads with meeting corporate sustainability and ESG programmes,” said EkkoSense’s CEO, Dean Boyle. “That’s hard enough to do in a static market but, with the current explosion in demand for data centre services, as well as a land grab for real estate and power, operations teams need to be doing everything they can to ensure data centre facilities are performing optimally. This will mean staying on top of key thermal, power and capacity issues, as well as adjusting to the latest ESG reporting demands. And that requires a closer understanding of how different data centre sites are performing in real-time."

EkkoSense’s key data centre challenges for 2024 include:

• Improving energy performance – research from Uptime Institute suggests that 68% of data centre managers are very or somewhat concerned about improving energy performance for their facilities equipment. Almost nine out of ten also say that IT or data centre power consumption is their top reporting priority.

• Data centre resourcing – with over half of data centres struggling to find skilled operational resources in 2023, attracting and retaining talent will remain difficult in 2024. Accentuating operator performance by equipping data centre teams with real-time intelligence into thermal, power and capacity can help them be more effective. Advances such as automated ESG reporting will also free up valuable operational time. Attracting and retaining top-tier talent, particularly for more technical roles, is one of the biggest challenges for operators as we head into 2024.

• Progressing towards sustainability goals - Operators are under pressure to cut energy usage and deliver carbon savings, with KPIs demanding tangible improvements. Last year, according to Gartner, just 5% of organizations had data centre infrastructure sustainability goals. However, new research from earlier this year suggests that – driven by stakeholder insistence and cost optimization - three out of four data centres will be doing this by 2027. A demonstrable sustainability performance will increasingly become a key differentiator for organizations when selecting a colocation provider.

• Energy reporting compliance - with European compliance deadlines fast approaching, such as the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the European Commission’s Energy Efficiency Directive, data centre teams will increasingly be subject to a clear accountability framework around climate reporting and the detailing of Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. CSRD, for example, mandates that data collection for evidence-based environmental reporting and the precise measurement of GHG data starts from 1st January 2024.

• Managing escalating workloads - data centre workload volumes continue to grow, with predictions suggesting workloads will increase by between 10-20% a year over the next five years, and that’s before the workload impact of the latest GenAI solutions is understood. Scaling fast enough to keep up with the demand that AI presents is a major concern, and this clearly presents a significant operational challenge for organizations that are already tasked with cutting carbon consumption as part of their committed ESG and net zero programmes. Look out also for increasing rack densities as applications demand takes rack kW density to new levels