For many of today’s cutting-edge and hyper competitive enterprises, environmental stewardship and sustainability are becoming key to their business strategies.
And nowhere is this more true than in the data center. This is in part because data centers are among the highest consumers of power today. But with the Internet of Things, growing big data and expanding connectivity, the need for more and more of these facilities is inevitable. Data center sustainability is becoming a priority.
According to a new white paper from Digital Realty, “it’s more critical than ever for enterprises to seek alternative energy solutions for their data center infrastructure.”
The aforementioned increase in data is primarily being driven by the rapid growth in data we create and store each day.
Digital Realty points out that efforts to improve energy efficiency of data centers, like cooling system upgrades optimizing air flow by using smart sensors and controls are also, of course, an important area of focus for the colocation industry. But many are switching to clean energy as they are looking for ways to “offset the growing environmental impact of their data centers.”
But often, deciding how your organization can move toward more sustainable practices is easier said than done. According to Digital Realty, one of the most effective answers is to source renewable energy in your data centers.
Ever-advancing technology is enabling the increase of data creation, consumption and storage. With these increases, a domino effect occurs. — Digital Realty
“Since data may seem abstract and formless, it might be strange to think of it as having a carbon footprint,” the report points out. But, that said, data centers in the U.S. alone, consume more than 70 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.
Renewable energy, derived from sources such as the sun (solar), wind, the movement of water (hydroelectricity), biofuels (fuel derived from organic matter), and geothermal activity, are not depleted when used and do not emit carbon emissions which are harmful to the Earth’s atmosphere.
But the Digital Realty report also covers how renewable energy in the data center helps your enterprise — not just the environment.
According to AFCOM’s 2018 State of the Data Center Industry report, approximately 42% of respondents have or are planning to deploy a renewable energy over the next year. And 60% of those respondents indicated that this new renewable energy source will help them lower overall TCO of their data center while helping them achieve green initiatives.
Benefits also include lower costs while maintaining consistent performance, as well as improving brand image and customer loyalty.
The last decade has seen numerous green innovations in the data center, including the rise of hyperscale computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning — still evolving and growing sectors.
Download the full white paper, “Green Data Centers are Imperative for Enterprise Success,” from Digital Realty for a deep look at clean energy and the impact of data center sustainability.