Dubai: Hamdi Saad
A recent report suggested that the data center market in the UAE will grow by 22.3% over the next 5 years, recording a compound annual growth rate of 4.1% during the period from 2021 to 2026.
The “UAE Data Center Market Analysis” report issued by MarkNtel Advisors for Research and Studies confirmed that the growth of the data market in the UAE was supported by a number of factors and initiatives, including: rapid digitization in government services and smart city development projects, as well as the deployment of next-generation network infrastructure. Fifth, the high demand for cloud computing services. Experts in the data center sector say to “The Gulf”: With this optimistic view of data centers in the UAE and their creation of job opportunities and support for digital communications infrastructure and cloud structures, close attention must be paid to their environmental impact, energy consumption, and how they affect the country’s carbon footprint, especially with the country’s commitments to Reducing the UAE’s carbon footprint by 2050, with the approaching date of the “Cop 28” conference. Experts stressed the need for data centers to look to increase the efficiency of their products in providing services, in addition to increasing their operational efficiency by reducing energy consumption to be more sustainable and reducing emissions.
Ashraf Yehia, General Manager, Eaton Middle East, said: “Data centers currently require a large amount of electricity to operate, with electricity consumption expected to double over the next five years. Therefore, centers need innovative solutions to contain energy requirements and associated costs, as well as the need for more backup electrical power to protect the vital operations of companies, institutions, and service providers.
Yehia added: Eaton’s data centers use a special approach to work in new ways to generate new revenue streams, enhance flexibility, reduce carbon emissions, and transform existing systems in data centers to be smarter and more sustainable. He explained that data centers combine new energy management capabilities, data analytics, and advanced controls with existing infrastructure to support the two-way flow of energy to and from the grid.
“The company’s recent ‘Intersection of Digital Transformation and Energy Transition’ study points to the important role of new energy business models in improving the ways in which data centers view and manage energy needs, as operators seek to improve sustainability,” said Yehia.
Among other findings, the research showed that more than a third of data center operators are looking to sell generated power back into the grid as they continue to grow investments in renewables and energy storage. By enabling bidirectional power flow, data centers can better support renewable resources and offset the cost of infrastructure upgrades by earning revenue through frequency response and other network services.
This creates a network-interactive data center with an infrastructure that increases sustainability, provides greater value, provides essential backup, and significantly reduces operating costs. “Our uninterruptible power solutions strive to achieve unparalleled energy efficiency with efficient use of resources, maximum use of recyclable materials, and minimization of emissions throughout the entire life of the product, from inception to recycling,” said Yehia.
For his part, Ehab Kanary, Regional Vice President of Enterprise Infrastructure at Commscope, said: “The past few years have witnessed unprecedented business conditions in all industries and businesses. Among these sectors are cloud-based services managed by data centers; So it is essential to get as clear a perspective as possible; Because the world has become dependent on cloud services, and thus more data center operations.”
For all data center environments, efficiency is not a measure of profitability as much as it is a rate of survival and continuity, whether it is a small or medium-sized data center, or even a multi-occupancy or large cloud deployment; The intense and simultaneous pressures of demand and expenditures, especially energy expenditures, will determine its future.
Canary added: Cost is the most obvious factor when evaluating energy efficiency, but it is not the only factor. It is so urgent that energy efficiency takes the top priority and data centers make significant upgrades by shifting storage to the most efficient medium, using detailed analytics to identify storage and compute opportunities, consolidating energy, deploying ultra-efficient UPS systems, and transitioning to more sustainable energy.
He explained that one of the strategies to make data centers more efficient is to move the centers to locations with renewable energy sources, especially for the largest cloud and broadband data centers.
Continuity of services
In turn, Raja Salman, General Manager of Gulf Computer Support Systems, said: “In light of the great interest of the UAE government in the data center industry, the most important challenges facing the centers in general are the energy bill, the effectiveness of its use, and the continuity of operation of these centers.
He added: Government sectors and companies of all sizes have become more demanding on data center services, which are multiplying exponentially. Therefore, the efficient use of energy in these centers is a decisive factor for the survival of government services in telecommunications companies and companies specializing in Internet networks, cloud computing, blockchain, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, and others.
Salman continued: “Prefabricated data centers and mini-centers have emerged as one of the remarkable developments in the sector, which are characterized by an economic nature in terms of cost and the possibility of use by any institution with fewer requirements in terms of data storage. These centers are also characterized by uninterruptible power supply systems.”