Reducing the amount of electricity required to operate a data centre is an important step in improving sustainability. The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) recently commented that 5% of total global energy usage is by electronics – this number will grow to at least 40% by 2030 unless companies make major advances in lowering electricity consumption.
Data centre cooling is one of the main energy costs that is rising along with the demand for data centre capacity. Developing in-house water-cooling systems is one way to address this. For example, servers that use a water element to cool themselves, rather than electricity, inevitably reduce energy consumption and optimise air flows. This is because the water-cooling systems are built into racks with integrated heat exchangers and power distribution units and users need less than 10% overhead energy on top of server energy. A typical data centre, in contrast, needs between 40-100% more.
Cloud migration service providers allow corporations to not only reduce the cost of operations and develop new uses, but also to reduce their environmental footprint compared to their legacy and generally less efficient facilities. Aggregating cloud computing needs through large hyperscale cloud service providers becomes part of the answer to control the risk mentioned above.
On top of that, we’re also seeing providers shift towards using hydro, wind and solar power as part of their energy supply. When locating sites, cloud services providers focus on low carbon energy supply areas, like hydroelectricity in the Quebec region. Alternatively, cloud providers can enter into agreements with energy suppliers to guarantee the origin is from renewable sources.