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AI and Data Centers: A Perfect Marriage?

Though artificial intelligence has been around for years (think Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri), the introduction of chatbot ChatGPT really moved AI into the mainstream, both on a personal and business level.

For data center owners, AI involves more than answering questions or even drafting emails. A CBRE-authored article, “Artificial Intelligence: What is its future and how will it impact data center markets?” makes the case for AI use toward energy efficiencies and monitoring climate control.

AI is also proving helpful in monitoring the hardware of a facility to help extend its useable life. It does so by detecting and fixing issues and helping to plan a data center’s physical space.

The article said that one challenge pertaining to AI applications is their consumption of large amounts of power. AIs require high-performance processors that require more power than traditional data center processors. Additionally, cooling technology modifications are required to reduce downtime. The article pointed out that water-scarce regions (like Southern California and Phoenix) might be impacted by this.

Yet while AI consumes power, it can also help mitigate power usage. The article indicated that data center operators utilize AI to proactively manage Power Usage Effectiveness, or PUE. This, in turn, helps data center operators reduce emissions. In quoting a report by EY, the article said that “with pragmatic usage of AI, companies can save up to 40% of the power spent on data center cooling.”

As such, “there is an incentive to develop AI-specific data centers in markets with ample power supply, low energy costs and land prices to handle these complex and high-performance workload,” said the article.


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