The Stack Archive Interview

Will we see an EU-wide data centre grid?

Mon 26 Feb 2018 | Dimitrios Paspaltzis

Data centre

Dimitrios Paspaltzis, European Parliament ICT Official, talks to John Bensalhia about notable developments in data centre energy and power efficiency

Speaking at Data Centre World 2018 about the energy and power efficiency in the European Parliament’s data centres is its ICT Official, Dimitrios Paspaltzis.

“I will start giving an overview of my role inside the EP organisational chart, then I will talk about what we have achieved the last five years regarding energy savings. There, I will refer to some case studies and analyses we have conducted and at the end, before going onto laying out our ambitious energy efficiency plan for the next three years.”

Dimitrios’ studies are relevant as he has a diploma in electrical engineering and a master in ICT engineering. However, his professional experience was oriented towards the telecommunications field and project management.

“I became interested in the data centre field when I won a competition of experts in ICT for the European Institutions and I was offered to choose between several posts,” explains Dimitrios. “I chose facilities management because it was a combination of my studies, my previous professional experience and something challenging with a lot of perspectives.”

There will be a cross-border data centre grid between EU countries, similar to the electrical grid

Dimitrios is responsible for the operation of the European Parliament’s data centres. “Among the day to day activities are the reception and installation of new hardware to the data centre and the decommissioning of the old equipment; maintenance of the electromechanical installations and refurbishment of the older data centres; capacity planning and monitoring of energy consumption and environmental values such as temperature and humidity; and last but not least, applying modifications in order to save energy.”


Future trends

With big growth in the data centre industry in recent years, Dimitrios says that there have been some notable improvements. “The trend of having smaller rooms nearer the users in order to decrease latency, use of modular solutions making data centres more flexible, and some fire extinction/prevention techniques like the decreasing of oxygen levels in the room to below 14%. Also the release of the ISO 50600 for data centres.”

However, while the data centre sector has experienced massive growth, concerns have been raised about energy consumption as a result. “Data centres operating in Iceland will consume more than all the households of the country and cryptocurrency farms need more energy than a country of 11 million people, such as Greece,” explains Dimitrios, who adds that energy efficiency is the big bet for the future.

On the subject of the future for data centres, Dimitrios says that this year will see compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR for EU citizens. Meanwhile, in the long term, EU countries will also see a further notable development. “There will be a cross-border data centre grid between EU countries, similar to the electrical grid,” says Dimitrios. “Also, there will be certified green energy saving cloud providers.”

DCWDimitrios Paspaltzis will be speaking at the forthcoming Data Centre World, which takes place on 21st and 22nd March 2018 at London’s ExCeL Centre. To hear from Dimitrios and other experts from around the world, register today for your FREE ticket.

Experts featured:

Dimitrios Paspaltzis

Facilities Management Coordinator
European Parliament


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