Sustainability and the Green Data Center

March 4, 2020

Sustainability has become an essential criterion by which a company is judged by its customers, workforce, government and even its investors. Below are some highlights of our recently published eBook that shows there's no better time than now for the data center industry to elevate its environmental stewardship with energy-efficient infrastructure and renewable power resources.

The Data Center as a Change Agent for Sustainability

According to the management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, data centers worldwide consume approximately 30 billion watts of electricity — the equivalent output of 30 nuclear power plants — or enough to power all of the households in Italy, a country with a population of nearly 60 million people. 

However, a new study published by the academic journal, Science and titled “Recalibrating global data center energy-use estimates” proved that commercially operated data centers are becoming increasingly more optimized for efficiency. To support this statement, the study mentions that in 2018, the electricity consumed by  data centers across the globe was 205 terawatt-hours, or about 1% of all electricity consumed that year worldwide. They also consumed 1 percent in 2010 even though data stored in the same data centers grew by 5x.

Cooling and power systems are so much more efficient than before, that the decrease in their energy use is enough to mostly offset the growth in total IT device energy use.

Energy and Utilization Challenges

A thorough analysis on the climate impact of the data center should consider energy efficiency and resource utilization, in addition to power mix. Carbon emissions in the data center are influenced by three major factors:

  • The number of servers running
  • The total energy required to power each server
  • The carbon intensity of energy sources used to power these servers

When it comes to the numer of servers and the power used to keep them running, it is important to note that while commercially operated data centers are highly optimized for efficiency (as that has a direct impact on the profit margin), the same cannot be said of corporate data centers. Very frequently, servers are being used inefficiently, consuming power twenty-four hours per day, 365 days of the year, while doing little work most of the time.

eStruxture and the Sustainable Data Center

By sustainably designing and upgrading its facilities, using clean hydropower energy, and carefully selecting eco-responsible technologies and suppliers, eStruxture is committed to increasing its power usage effectiveness — all while maintaining a high level of performance, scalability and uptime — and offering the most flexible data center solutions to its customers.

All of eStruxture’s facilities, including those in Vancouver and Calgary, have been designed with a focus on sustainability.

For more information on this topic, download our free eBook.

 

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