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Robert Lee CTO Pure Storage

AI and Data Center Energy Consumption: Pure Storage, Wakefield Research, Gartner Findings

November 13, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

As artificial intelligence (AI) application deployments accelerate, most businesses may not be prepared for AI's associated energy consumption costs, multiple technology research reports suggest.

Indeed, AI could consume up to 3.5% of the world’s electricity by 2030, Gartner predicts. In terms of current projects, 73% of IT buyers are not completely prepared for the energy requirements of AI, research from Pure Storage and Wakefield Research finds. Moreover, 89% of IT buyers found ESG goals more difficult to meet as a result of upgrades to their IT infrastructure for AI adoption, Pure Storage and Wakefield added.

For CIOs, chief sustainability officers (CSOs) and green IT service providers, the path forward requires "reassessing data infrastructure to truly reap the benefits of AI, keep energy costs in line, and stay on track with corporate environmental goals," Pure Storage and Wakefield asserted.

Pure Storage and Wakefield Research: AI Deployments and Energy Cost Findings

Additional findings from the Pure Storage and Wakefield report include:

  • The Need for Computing Power is Surging For 88% of those who have adopted AI, the need for computing power is up dramatically. Nearly half (47%) have had to double their computing power or more since adopting AI.
  • Energy Consumption is Just One Burden: For 73%, AI requires or will require data management upgrades of some kind. Among specific upgrades: data management tools (48%), data management processes (46%), and data storage infrastructure (46%).
  • As a Result, Nearly All (96%) Have Already or Plan to Update Their IT Infrastructure: 29% of IT Buyers say AI has or will require a complete overhaul.
  • These Challenges Have Set Back Businesses’ Sustainability Goals: 89% have found ESG goals more difficult to meet as a result of upgrades to their IT infrastructure after AI adoption. However, 60% of those who have already adopted AI technologies (or plan to in the next 12 months) stated they invested in or will invest in more energy- efficient hardware to meet ESG goals.

In a prepared statement about the research, Pure Storage CTO Rob Lee (pictured, top of page) said: “Planning for change and ensuring flexibility are key to navigating AI adoption. As power and data demands increase exponentially in the age of AI, investing in and deploying the right AI-ready data infrastructure is not only essential to effective deployment and energy efficiency, but to driving the most value out of AI projects. Today’s report offers important insights for IT leaders on both the consequences of failing to plan for the changes required to implement AI, as well as the benefits of being prepared for AI’s impact on infrastructure.”

Enterprise Technology Companies Bolster Sustainability Partner Programs

Meanwhile, multiple enterprise technology companies have adjusted their product roadmaps and partner programs to address sustainability and green IT technology opportunities. Examples include:

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