Business intelligence through patinformatics: A study of energy efficient data centres using patent data

Nishad Deshpande, Shabib Ahmeda, Alok Khodea

Abstract


The advent of cloud computing has nurtured an unprecedented growth of data
centres. With its growth, the main concern for service providers and data centre owners is to
efficiently manage the energy of the data centres without compromising their computing
capabilities. This concern is genuine as data centres utilise 10-30 times more energy than
office spaces and also generate immense heat. As cooling accounts for half of the total power
consumption in data centres, efficient cooling systems have become a vital need for data
centres. This has resulted in increased research and innovation in the field of efficient cooling
of data centres, which in turn has led to growth in filing of patents in this domain. Patents are
techno-legal documents that contain different kinds of information that is accessible to all. In
the present study, patents are used as source of information for competitive/business
intelligence to highlight the technological trends in the field of energy efficient cooling of data
centres. The study reveals that IBM, HP, Schneider and Hon Hai Industries are the major
players working in this technological area. Contrary to the notion that air conditioning would
be the most researched area for cooling data centres, the study reveals that there is also
interest in the hardware of the servers and racks to produce less heat or to have built-in
cooling mechanisms. The main technologies for which patents are being filed include
ventilation using gaseous coolant, technologies related to rack design as well as liquid cooling.
Original equipment manufacturers and other vendors have increased filings, along with cloud
service providers. Most of these technologies originate from Asia-Pacific and this region is a
strong market, following the USA.


Keywords


Cooling, data centres, energy efficiency, green data centres, patents, patinformatics

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