The evolution of today's data center
Technology has come a long way since the 1990s, so it's only natural that data centers have, too. The first data centers (what we call Tier 1 and Tier 2) were 1-10 MW in size, and were grid connected with diesel genset backups. Starting in 2010, there was a shift to so-called hyperscale data centers (Tiers 3 and 4), topping out at 100MW and featuring grid connectivity with greener options for backups like fuel cells and natural gas generators. But what about the data centers of today (and tomorrow?) These Tier 5+ data centers are larger than ever, around 250MW, feature self generation for grid support, as well as heat recovery for cooling and heating, and can be run on hybrid power solutions. With new efficiencies and business models emerging for data centers, it's time to look at new ways to power them, too.