Mobile operator Three reduces data center cooling energy consumption by using EkkoSense

Mobile operator Three claims to have reduced the amount of energy needed to cool its legacy data centers by 12.5% ​​in just 10 weeks by deploying EkkoSense’s artificial intelligence-based server farm optimization software.

Three used EkkoSense EkkoSoft Critical software-as-a-service (SaaS) visualization and analytics offering to pinpoint areas in its data centers where airflow could be improved to optimize cooling.

The goal of the project was to ensure a 5% reduction in energy consumption at Three’s four older data center facilities, all over 20 years old, to mitigate the impact of energy price increases and to provide the organization with more detailed information about the operations of their sites .

The EkkoSense offering includes Internet-of-Things-enabled thermal sensors attached to each site’s server racks and cooling systems, allowing Three’s team to track the performance of their data centers in real-time.

The data collected by those sensors is then fed into the EkkoSense software, with the setup reportedly collecting thousands of data points every five minutes, allowing Three to identify opportunities to optimize how its sites cool.

“The [work] has already resulted in initial cooling energy savings of 200kW versus a forecast of 196kW while helping the Three data center team meet a corporate requirement of 5% overall energy savings at its legacy sites,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Three said the decision to refurbish the cooling equipment at its legacy data center sites is part of a broader IT sustainability push that includes a strategy to reduce carbon emissions.

“After initial discussions with our partner CBRE, we determined that improved cooling efficiency is one of the most effective ways to optimize our data center’s energy efficiency and ensure environmental improvements,” said Shamim Mohamed, data center operations and service readiness manager at Three.

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“The EkkoSense team conducted an initial survey that suggested we could initially achieve a combined saving of 196kW – equivalent to an annual energy saving of 1,716,960kWh.”

Mohamed said the company initially set a timeframe of 10 weeks for the project, but EkkoSense was able to complete the initial optimization phase in just six weeks.

“With EkkoSoft Critical software fully implemented, the thermal optimization project exceeded our initial expectations, with data center cooling savings alone enabling us to meet our corporate energy savings goals for our legacy sites,” continued Mohamed.

“This has enabled us to target annual energy savings of around £233,000 – meaning we could also target an overall project ROI of less than 12 months.”

Dean Boyle, CEO of EkkoSense, said: “Our software’s ability to provide much more detailed insights into cooling and heating performance will give the Three data center team much more control over how the company manages its four legacy sites over the next three years .”