The Age of Sustainability
Our digital age gave rise to data centers, a necessity for the Internet and the emergence of the cloud. While data center designs and operational techniques iterated quickly, they began in a time long before sustainability was a focus for most. However, enterprises have become increasingly aware of their impact on the environment in recent years and now count shrinking their carbon footprints among their top priorities.
One way enterprises are achieving this is by migrating and expanding their workloads into green data centers, facilities that have been designed and built with sustainability in mind. Data center providers now approach design and operation with such sustainable concepts as renewable energy sources, energy-efficient cooling, LED lighting systems, and recycled or recyclable materials. Data center tenants take sustainability another step by utilizing increasingly efficient IT hardware and server virtualization. Third-party certifiers such as LEED and the Green Grid have emerged to lend credibility to these efforts. Initially more expensive to build, green data centers offer significant ROI long-term as power costs and consumer awareness continue to rise.
An enterprise realizes many benefits by selecting a green data center, including:
- Reduced energy costs: Green data centers are more energy-efficient than traditional facilities, leading to significant cost savings.
- Lower carbon footprint: By sourcing renewable energy and using it efficiently, green data centers can help enterprises reduce their carbon footprint
- Corporate sustainability: A commitment to sustainability can help enterprises attract and retain talent and build trust with customers and other stakeholders.
- Thought leadership: By selecting a green data center, enterprises can take a leadership role in promoting sustainability.
Selecting a Sustainable Data Center for your Enterprise
Sustainability is no longer a luxury for enterprises that operate in a competitive landscape – it is a necessity. Data centers account for around 3% of global emissions, so enterprises can make a significant impact by moving their workloads to a green data center provider.
When selecting a green data center its sustainability needs, an enterprise should consider:
- The renewable energy sources available to the enterprise to power its hardware
- The amount of electrical overhead the facility requires to support the enterprise’s IT load
- The geographical location of the data center, as climate trends and available renewable power both play into sustainability
- Other sustainable practices employed by the facility beyond electrical efficiency
A green data center will have a lower PUE (Power Usage Efficiency) than a non-green facility. PUE is a ratio to measure the electrical overhead of the data center to support its tenants’ IT load, and a lower PUE results in cost savings for the tenants. Therefore, the geographical location makes a difference, as data centers in cooler climates benefit from lower cooling requirements. In addition, green data centers often source renewable energy, further minimizing a deployment’s environmental impact.
Beyond the environment, modern data centers often have superior air filtration, cooling systems, and redundant infrastructure that reduce the risk of equipment failure. As a result, companies see significant savings from reduced downtime.
By taking these factors into account, you can choose a green data center that best meets the financial needs of your business while also improving the environment.
The Future is Green
Trends indicate that more and more data center providers will be moving to green infrastructure and adopting renewable energy as prices drop. However, these moves can’t come soon enough for enterprises that know that a whopping 80 percent of US consumers care about the use of renewable energy.
Green data centers work toward a more sustainable environment while helping tenants find greater efficiency and success. Selecting a green data center is the smart choice for any organization, no matter its size, to save money and operate more sustainably.