Europe is seeing a swathe of new regulations which affect data centers. They are coming from countries like Germany, individual cities like Amsterdam, and from the whole EU bloc.

Operators face increasingly onerous demands for reporting their energy use and efficiency. In Germany, they can get fined for failing to meet the new strictures, while Amsterdam has declared war on sleeping servers, and set limits on where facilities can be built.

But Venessa Moffat thinks this will help the industry in the long run. The regulations are a response to congested electric grids and shortages of land - and whether they are good or bad, they are the first step in a new dialog between data centers and the environments where they live.

Sometimes authorities want facilities to be greener, sometimes they want them to be quieter, and sometimes they just want them somewhere else. But any data center operator now has to be prepared to meet new reporting requirements and has an official channel to talk to the local authorities about their business.

Moffat, head of channel partner manager EMEA Europe for Ekkosense, says it's about time those discussions happened.

People who run cities need to understand the businesses that are located there, and data centers need to communicate what they do to the communities around them. From those discussions, new partnerships can emerge.