Data Centre#

In Brief#

A data centre is a structure, a specialised area inside a structure, or a collection of structures used to house computer systems and related components such as telecommunications and storage systems. Because IT operations are so important for business continuity, they usually incorporate redundant or backup components and infrastructure for power, data transmission connections, environmental control (such as air conditioning and fire suppression), and other security systems. A huge data centre is a large-scale activity that consumes the same amount of power as a small town.

More in Detail#

Data centres in the field of enterprise IT are meant to serve business applications and operations such as email communication and file sharing, applications for productivity, management of customer relationships, databases and enterprise resource planning, machine learning, AI and big data, communications and collaboration services, as well as virtual desktops. Routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application delivery controllers are all part of the data centre design.

Data centre security is crucial in data centre architecture because these components hold and handle business-critical data and applications. They provide services such as computing resources and network and storage infrastructure. Data centre facilities are energy guzzlers, accounting for between 1.1 and 1.5 percent of total global energy consumption in 2010 [1].

Data centre facilities use to 100 to 200 times more energy than ordinary office buildings, according to the US Department of Energy [2]. From the IT equipment to the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment to the actual location, configuration, and construction of the building, an energy efficient data centre design should handle all the energy usage issues contained in a data centre.

The US department of energy has identified five major arrears where energy efficient data centre architecture best practises should be focused:

  • IT systems,

  • environmental conditions,

  • air quality control,

  • refrigeration systems,

  • and systems involving electricity.

On-site electricity production and waste heat recycling are two more energy-efficient design options recommended.

Data centre design that is energy efficient should assist to better use a data centre’s space while also increasing performance and efficiency.



Edward Curry, Bill Guyon, Charles Sheridan, and Brian Donnellan. Developing a sustainable it capability: lessons from Intel's journey. MIS Quarterly Executive, 11(2):61–74, 2012.


VanGeet, Otto, W. Lintner, and B. Tschudi. FEMP best practises guide for energy-efficient data centre design. 2011. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

This entry was written by Andrea Rossi, Andrea Visentin and Barry O’Sullivan.