Friday, November 21, 2014
Sustainable data center projects from top tech companies
Data supplied by the Natural Resources Defense Council suggested that the data center industry has a long road to travel before offsetting the energy consumed by storage facilities, according to Sustainable Business. A significant amount can be done by IT teams simply reorganizing their facility infrastructure to run more efficiently - using fiber to Ethernet solutions to streamline hardware configurations, for example, can help IT teams operate their facility using fewer pieces of equipment.
However, it will take more than infrastructural reorganizations to make a real impact on a global scale. The NRDC reported that total energy use by the nation's data center industry is set to reach 140 kilowatt hours by 2020. 30 percent of servers currently running are in sleep mode, sapping energy without performing any beneficial function for the data center. Thankfully, the country's largest tech companies and architects of the world's largest data centers are in constant race to build the greenest data center possible.
Google expands its European holdings
In a push to open data centers running on 100 percent renewable energy, a goal trending in the industry that has been echoed by rivals Facebook and Microsoft, Google has planned a slew of high efficiency data centers in Europe, according to Data Center Knowledge. The company's new Eemshaven data center in the Netherlands is set to run on 100 percent renewable energy from the get go when it opens, running on 63 megawatts of wind power from a farm just over 10 miles away.
Google's new data center will cost a total of $750 million, and is the company's third super-efficient data center in the region. The company's previous two data centers in Hamina, Finland, are powered by wind and cooled by frigid seawater. Taking advantage of nearby climates has become a staple for companies developing large data centers, and the often areas overlooked for human habitation have become the perfect spot for new data centers.
Microsoft and Facebook get down to green business
Fellow tech titans Microsoft and Facebook have recently dabbled in efficiency-focused data center design as well. Facebook's newest facility in Iowa is currently supplemented with nearly 140 megawatts of renewable energy. The area is expected to reach 3.5 gigawatts of wind power capacity by 2015, making Iowa an even more ideal location for building sustainable data centers. In line with its competition, Microsoft opened an impressively efficient data center of its own this year - the computer company's Wyoming facility that runs on biogas made from waste products, said Environmental Leader.
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