APAC sees strong growth in datacenter cooling solutions

by Sohini Bagchi    Jun 05, 2013


One of the ongoing challenges for data center managers is to maintain consistent server temperatures while controlling costs and meeting environmental efficiency needs. Emerging markets such as in Asia Pacific faced even greater challenges owing to long, drawn-out bureaucratic processes that delayed equipment purchase and implementation which in turn affected the datacenter cooling infrastructure expansion as well. The trend is fast changing as an increased number of datacenter managers in this region, who are seeking greater efficiency, are constantly looking to deploy innovative cooling solutions.

According to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region are currently driving the market for datacenter cooling solutions. The report finds that the market generated revenues of over US$1.2 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach US$2.17 billion in 2018.

Growth drivers

Experts believe that growing demand for internet applications, virtualization and online delivery systems has lent momentum to the datacenter cooling solutions centre market in Asia-Pacific. “There are a number of factors that are accelerating the establishment of data centers in this part of the world. First and foremost online hosting services and digital transaction are witnessing rapid growth. Businesses in APAC are also networking with their global counterparts for better logistic management and other business processes.  Therefore, cooling system suppliers are investing in new product development to keep up with these fast-changing requirements,” says Amit Kumar Singh, Senior Research Analyst, Frost & Sullivan Energy and Environment.

According to Singh, datacenters are facing an energy deficit owing to escalating digitization and cloud computing. As a result, green datacenter cooling solutions that reduce carbon emissions are becoming popular. Moreover, regulations on global warming and carbon emissions are likely to compel datacenter providers to replace existing systems with more efficient cooling solutions, adding to market revenues in the region.

In another recent report, data center research firm DCD Intelligence too revealed that the Asia Pacific market will drive datacenter cooling solutions and the overall datacenter investments that is likely to reach $105 billion in 2013, a 22 per cent rise above last year. Singh too observes that datacenter operators from across the globe are relocating their datacenters to the Asia-Pacific, further contributing to the market’s growth.

An integrated approach

Although the future looks optimistic, experts believe these upgrades will be limited to a certain degree due to the high capital costs. They point out that potential customer’s preference for traditional standard cooling solutions, and reluctance to commit to the sizeable investments necessary for new more efficient cooling systems will simultaneously pose challenge for growth. Singh recommends that cooling solution providers must partner with IT vendors to broaden business opportunities, build comprehensive solutions, and widen their reach.

“As cooling has become an integral part of the IT strategic plan, expansion of existing processes needs to occur, new operational process and tools will need to be rolled out to manage the new complexities and potentially realigning technical facility personnel closely to the IT organization. The overall goal is to maximize energy efficiency while maintaining service availability,” says David Blumanis, data center consultant. Going forward, he sees companies in APAC employing innovative strategies for increasing the efficiency of lowering the server room temperature have emerged in recent years. Datacenter expert Bob Sullivan for example mentions that many companies are saving money by reducing the number of CRAC units used. “CRAC units generally run most efficiently at full capacity, so running fewer at full capacity can improve overall efficiency,” he writes in his blog. He also notes that data centers can use adiabatic cooling solutions to keep humidity levels in control to avoid condensation collecting on IT equipment.

While the data center cooling market is growing at a rapid pace, several enterprises in Asia Pacific are opting for an integrated Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution that follows a centralized approach. According to P Sridhar Reddy, CMD, CtrlS, cooling is certainly one of the key aspects of datacenter. But CIOs and data center managers will continue to look for an integrated solution for their entire data center ecosystem that can help them plan ahead, both for growth and potential disasters. Proponents of DCIM believes that these solutions alongside cooling, can simplify the management of complex data center infrastructures by focusing on the physical and asset-level components and other associated resources, including space, energy and capacity - a key requisite in datacenter management.