Conserving Water and Energy

Energy And Water Efficiencies

The primary environmental impacts from the data center industry are associated with energy use and water consumption, so these are the focus of our efforts.  We strive to provide efficient cooling, power and connectivity to our customers.

Benefits of Colocation over Onsite Servers

There are benefits to energy and water efficiency by transitioning from many small on-site data centers to fewer advanced hyperscale data centers, such as CyrusOne’s Massively Modular® data centers.  Combining the needs of lighting, cooling, and power conditioning allows for economies of scale and can reduce the electrical consumption needed to keep the servers running their best.

Power usage effectiveness (PUE) — the ratio of overall electricity consumption at the data center facility to the electricity delivered to the IT hardware — is a common measurement of how efficiently a data center uses electricity. Hyperscale datacenters are able to achieve better PUEs than typical enterprise data centers.

Zero Water Consumption Cooling

For many years, data centers have used various water-consuming cooling methods, such as water towers and evaporative cooling, in order to reduce electricity costs.  With the common industry focus on Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), shifting the cooling burden from electricity to water meant that a facility could achieve a low PUE because the water was invisible to the calculation.

While this does achieve the objective of reducing energy impacts, the concentration of many servers into a single hyperscale data center also concentrates the water consumption into one watershed.  Many of these centers are located in areas where water is scarce, or will be in the future.

At CyrusOne, all of our newly-built data centers are designed with zero water consumption cooling.  This means no water towers, no evaporative cooling, and very low water use.  While small amounts of water are still used for humidification, facility maintenance, and domestic water, this is minor compared to facilities that use water for cooling.

Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) – the ratio of water used at the data center to the electricity delivered to the IT hardware – is a common measurement of how efficiently a data center uses water.  While some companies strive to get a WUE below a 1.3, CyrusOne operates ten data centers with a WUE of 1.1 or less.

Download the CyrusOne Waterless Cooling Whitepaper

Energy Efficiency

In addition to the benefits of consolidating computing into data centers, CyrusOne’s Massively Modular® data center design includes many energy- and cost-saving features, such as high-efficiency Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) and Power Distribution Units (PDUs), and variable-speed fan drives.  Our Building Management System, sensors, and flexible infrastructure allow precise delivery of the right cooling at the right time to the right space.  We also partner with our customers to implement server airflow management strategies and containment.  These features give our new facilities impressive design efficiencies when operating at full utilization, without shifting the burden to water resources.