Data centers have become one of the world’s largest electricity consumers in the past decade. Globally. A data center consumes around 100 billion kilowatt-hours per year—enough to power all the homes in New York City for more than two years. U.S. data centers alone consume enough energy to power all of Greece for a year and generate more greenhouse gases than Japan’s auto industry does each year. It doesn’t have to be that way! With simple changes to your IT infrastructure and operations strategy, you can dramatically cut down on your facility’s energy footprint while reducing costs and improving sustainability practices across your organization.
Why Data Centers Use a Lot of Energy
Data centers are highly energy-intensive because they require massive energy to run the systems. A data center must run servers, cooling systems, and other infrastructure components that support the data center’s 24/7 operation.
Although you can locate data centers in remote areas where land is inexpensive, power is expensive.
These factors contribute to why data centers can consume so much power:
- Data center size: Data centers are significant buildings with a lot of computing equipment (servers and storage systems), which means they use much electricity just to keep cool and all those servers running. For example, an average data center might use about 1 kilowatt per square foot; by comparison, a typical office building uses about 0.2 kWh per square foot.
- The other reason why data centers use so much energy is that their machines need constant power for both cooling systems and server operations. The data centers need electricity 24/ 7. Any downtime for these functions would significantly impact productivity. There will be too many system failures due to a lack of power supply or overheating issues due to excessive usage over periods where no maintenance could occur.
How Dirty Energy Worsens Climate Change
In the last 50 years, global greenhouse gas emissions have skyrocketed. The concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere reached 400 parts per million (ppm) in 2017 and continues to rise at a rate of 2 ppm every year. This increase has led to various alarming impacts: increased risk of climate change, extreme weather events like droughts and floods, water scarcity, food insecurity – the list goes on.
If you’re concerned about these issues, it’s time for you to take action!
Choosing the right data center design
Maximizing data center efficiency by choosing the right design. While there is no single, perfect data center design that will work for everyone, here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right one for your business:
- Choose a well-insulated and well-ventilated facility. Good insulation helps keep temperatures inside the building consistent, which is especially important if you need to maintain cool or cold conditions for sensitive equipment.
- Choose an energy-efficient data center. Energy-efficient facilities use less electricity than traditional designs and allow you to save on utility bills while also reducing emissions from power plants that generate electricity for your servers and other IT equipment at your company’s location(s).
- Choose backup power capabilities at each site where critical operations occur, even if the primary power source fails outside regular business hours (like after hours). Using battery backup, employees can still access their critical systems without interruption until they can back up and running again.
Maximizing Data Center Efficiency
You’re probably aware that data centers are heavily energy-intensive. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 70 percent of the world’s software is currently running on servers in data centers. This issue makes optimizing your IT infrastructure a top priority for many organizations, as it can help you achieve measurable benefits such as:
- Reduced operational costs—Data center cost savings are typically seen after two years of implementation and continue after that with reduced ongoing operating expenses (O&M). These cost reductions are generally realized through reduced energy consumption, lower cooling loads, and the elimination or reduction of carbon emissions due to replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources like wind or solar power.
- Improved compliance – many organizations use renewable energy sources such as wind turbines or solar panels for their power needs.
Data center efficiency through IT management
IT management can reduce energy usage. By using an IT management system, you can pinpoint which methods use the most power and identify ways to reduce their consumption.
IT management software provides visibility into what is happening in your data center so you can get a clear picture of where resources are being wasted, including:
- Water usage – Identify sources that use more water than others; optimize efficiency; shut off unnecessary equipment during low traffic periods (if applicable).
- Energy consumption -We need to track consumption across all devices on the network, including those active and currently inactive but still drawing power from the grid.
Renewable energy is crucial to the data center industry’s plan to reduce its carbon footprint. Wind, sunlight, water, and geothermal heat naturally replenish a renewable energy source. Generating electricity using renewable energy in data centers can reduce reliance on non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels.
Renewable sources are also more environmentally friendly than their non-renewable counterparts because they do not produce greenhouse gases (GHG) when produced or consumed as traditional fuels do.
However, these sources may negatively affect local ecosystems if improperly managed during construction and operation. In addition to GHGs, controlling air pollution from equipment exhaust stacks is another concern that needs addressing before implementing renewable systems. However, we can avoid this issue with proper planning by carefully selecting locations where new installations will occur. So they don’t negatively impact nearby residents in any way possible, either physically or mentally.
- Reduce water use
- Reuse water
- Recycle water
- Buy recycled water
- Use rainwater or greywater
Waste disposal and recycling
To ensure that your data center is as efficient and sustainable as possible, you’ll need to consider the waste disposal and recycling processes. Regarding recycling, it’s important to note that a large part of what goes into landfill is recyclable. You can reduce the amount of money spent on raw materials and help the environment simultaneously.
Optimize your data center efficiency through practical energy usage, water conservation, and increased resiliency.
To maximize the efficiency of your data center and the reliability of your Information technology infrastructure. Considering how you can reduce resource consumption while increasing resiliency is essential. An effective way to do this is by working with a trusted partner who has experience in clean energy, water conservation, and efficiency.
- Energy optimization: Continue to find ways to optimize energy usage in your facility to help reduce carbon footprint and increase resiliency through reduced power outages during emergencies.
- Water conservation: Work with an expert on water conservation techniques such as greywater recycling or rainwater harvesting systems. These techniques help decrease overall water usage at a facility while also increasing its ability to withstand drought conditions or other situations where there may be limited access to fresh water sources for extended periods (such as post-disaster).
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Data centers are an essential part of our world, and they’re only going to become more crucial as technology advances. By adopting the best data center design practices and using clean energy sources like wind and solar, you can minimize your carbon footprint while improving resiliency in the face of disruptions like extreme weather events or natural disasters.