Skip to content


Generative AI and its Impact on Data Center Demand

Dominic Ward takes a look at generative AI and its impact on data center demand. How are data center operators navigating the next frontier in technology and sustainability? Read on to find out more.

In an era where generative AI and deep learning models are swiftly ascending to prominence, we are on the cusp of a transformative upheaval in data center demand. The growing interest in advanced AI technologies is not just a trend, but a harbinger of a new age; necessitating a profound re-evaluation of our data center infrastructure, its energy consumption, and its environmental footprint. 

The digital landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, with generative AI at its heart. Unlike traditional AI, generative AI pushes the boundaries of creativity and innovation, generating new, original content from images to videos to conversational responses. This leap in capability requires a substantial computational backbone, involving models with billions of parameters that necessitate rapid data flow for training and execution. Such complexity not only amplifies the demand for advanced data center infrastructure, but also significantly increases the energy footprint of these operations. 

The surge in AI applications, coupled with a critical climate crisis, underscores the urgency for data centers to accommodate AI’s hefty compute requirements. Forecasts by industry experts, such as Savills and the Dell’Oro Group, project a need for approximately 3,000 new data center facilities in Europe by 2025 and anticipate global data center capital expenditure to exceed US$500 billion by 2027 – primarily driven by AI infrastructure demands. 

In response, data center operators are spearheading innovations to optimize infrastructure efficiency. New technologies such as liquid cooling are emerging as drivers of transformation, potentially reducing a data center’s energy consumption by addressing its demanding cooling needs. Additionally, structural adaptations to accommodate heavy AI computing cabinets and strategic server rack placements to enhance bandwidth capacity between servers exemplify the ongoing efforts to meet AI’s formidable demands. 

However, infrastructure optimization is only part of the equation. The transition towards renewable energy sources is critical in mitigating the environmental impact of data centers. With most applications not being latency-sensitive, there exists a significant opportunity to locate data centers in regions abundant in renewable energy. Iceland, with its 100% renewable energy supply and temperate climate, exemplifies the ideal location, enabling data centers to leverage free-air cooling and further reduce their environmental footprint. 

Looking forward, the trajectory of generative AI and related technologies points to an exponential increase in demand for data center services. This growth is not without challenges, as metro markets across Europe grapple with outdated power infrastructures and energy crises, further complicated by global conflicts. The advancing complexity of AI systems will inevitably heighten the energy demands of data centers, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing facilities equipped to handle these computational loads while harnessing sustainable energy sources. 

At Verne Global, we are meeting this challenge head-on. Our data centers are meticulously designed to optimize the efficiency of AI and machine learning applications, reducing energy costs and minimizing environmental impact. By balancing power, cooling requirements, security, and high-speed access, we ensure our facilities are not only capable of hosting the most demanding generative AI datasets but also advancing artificial intelligence in a manner that is sustainable for our planet. 

As we navigate this exciting juncture in technological advancement and sustainability, Verne Global is at the forefront of this revolution. We are committed to meeting the escalating demands of AI with innovative, efficient, and environmentally responsible solutions. Our vision is clear: to power the progression of artificial intelligence and its boundless possibilities, while steadfastly championing the cause of environmental stewardship. It is a truly exciting moment for the data center industry as we usher in a new era of innovation, efficiency, and sustainability in the digital domain.