The world-wide operation of the data centers is estimated to account to 2 percent of the global energy consumptions, a figure That has been steadily increasing in the past years, and is projected to continue with this trend. Efficient, sustainable and cost-effective operation of the data centers are thus a real need. But how can automatic control contribute to satisfying these needs? The opportunities are actually multiple, especiallywhen considering networks of data centers. In this talk Damiano Varagnolo, researcher in Control Engineering at Luleå University of Technology, describes the role of automatic control in the management of data centers, and review the state of the practice, the state of the art, the challenges and the opportunities associated to their operation.