When you consider the culprits that are causing climate change, you might say hummers or perhaps the way we raise livestock, but did you know that data centers used 91 billion kilowatt-hours of electrical energy in 2013? By 2020, that number could go all of the way up to 139 billion kilowatt-hours, which is more than a 53% increase.
In a NRDC report compiled with the help of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other leading organizations in IT, data centers run by large cloud providers only accounted for 5% of all data center energy output. That means that the rest was used by smaller, less efficient data centers that perhaps haven't put as much of an effort on efficiency as the large cloud providers.
Although the numbers indicate that we are doomed to consume more energy, causing an increase in carbon emissions, this does not necessarily have to be the case. Here are several ways data centers can reduce their carbon footprint as outlined by the EPA:
Virtualize your Servers: This is probably a given for most data centers, but many will surprised to know that you can reduce energy consumption by as much as 40% when you stick to one physical server.
Rearrange and Enclose Your Server Racks: Another best practice that every data center should consider implementing is a hot air/cold air layout that prevents the mixing of the two. In addition to that, your computer racks should be enclosed to further improve efficiency and reduce mixing. You can find enclosed computer racks here.
See If There Are Ways to Consolidate Servers: If you have servers or equipment that you use sparingly, they are still using full power to operate – even in their dormant state.
Take a Look at Storage Utilization: If you're saving a variety of backups of the same information, you aren't maximizing your storage capabilities. See if there are ways to amend how you store energy.
Although we have made great strides to go green by decreasing how much energy and paper we use, we still have a long way to go when it comes to data centers and energy utilization. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve a more green data center.