How to Be a Sustainable Data Center

In order to be a truly sustainable data center, you must follow several guidelines. In this article, you will learn about Energy efficiency, Environmental impact, Modular design, and Water efficiency. There are many other considerations as well, but these will be the most important ones for any data center. Listed below are some of the main factors you must consider. These factors will determine how sustainable a data center is. Once you know how to evaluate these criteria, it will be easier to decide which option is best for your business.

Energy efficiency

The IT equipment used in a data center contributes to the carbon emissions and greenhouse gases it produces. To improve the energy efficiency of IT equipment, global IT giants are investigating various strategies. One of the simplest strategies is to inspect hardware regularly, a process that can save significant amounts of energy. Global IT giants are increasingly interested in energy efficiency in data centers to help them transition to a low-carbon future.

Several companies have gone above and beyond to implement energy-efficiency measures, including CUE (Carbon Usage Efficiency). The goal is to have the lowest CUE possible, indicating that the data center is efficiently controlling its carbon dioxide emissions. Another method is LEED certification, which was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED certification means that a building has passed rigorous criteria to become a green building.

Using indirect evaporative cooling, for example, can be highly effective in moderate to dry climates. This cooling method involves adding water to the air, lowering its temperature, and is highly effective in lowering energy consumption. An energy-efficient data center uses economizers, which deactivate the compressor on cold days. The cold outside air is then used to cool the servers. This method is comparable to turning off the air conditioner.

Another way to make your data center more energy efficient is to reduce the power usage. Data centers consume up to one percent of the world's total electricity supply, so reducing power consumption is essential for achieving a greener and more efficient data center. However, implementing energy-efficient technologies may take a bit of time and money, but the rewards are worth it. The benefits are numerous. A data center can save significant amounts of money on power, which is crucial for the future of the planet.

Environmental impact

While the environmental impact of data centers is a topic of growing concern, more data center operators are committing to sustainability. Although there is no standardized approach to measuring environmental impact, Schneider Electric has developed a framework with standardized metrics to help data center operators assess their performance and identify future opportunities for improvement. The group comprises sustainability consultants, scientists, and datacenter architects, and has been active since 2002. It has produced more than 200 white papers and free tools to help data center operators improve their environmental performance.

To date, there have been no regulations regulating the energy consumption of data centers. However, several corporations have made pledges to reduce their environmental impact. The Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact is an initiative led by European infrastructure providers and data center providers that aims to make all its data centers energy-neutral by the year 2050. This initiative represents a model for larger regulatory initiatives. However, corporate pledges are not enough to meet the goals of data center operators.

While data centers use large amounts of energy, they also generate large amounts of heat from the IT equipment. While historically, data centers used operational efficiency as a proxy for sustainability, these facilities have recently begun to focus on other aspects of sustainability. This is because single issue metrics usually only look at the operational phase of a facility and ignore the impacts of other environmental issues. But what does it mean to be environmentally friendly? It is crucial that data centers adopt an energy efficiency management system to reduce their environmental impact.

Data centers are increasingly becoming a critical component of the global economy. With global population growth and the growing needs of customers, sustainability has become an imperative business practice. Data centers produce five times more carbon than a car, so reducing the environmental impact of their operations is essential to achieving financial success. However, there are a number of challenges associated with the management of the environmental impact of data centers. This article discusses some of the most common challenges and solutions faced by data center operators.

Modular design

The benefits of a modular design are many and varied, but there are several common traits that define this type of facility. In addition to reducing costs and complexity, this design has several inherent advantages. Here are some of them. They are also highly resilient and reduce risks. Listed below are a few examples of the benefits of modular data centers. Read on to find out what these facilities can do for your organization. After all, your data center is a vital part of your campus's success.

In modular data centers, each modular building block is powered, and can accommodate as many as seven racks of servers. A catcher system is an automated backup system for up to four modules, and mirrors the electrical demand of each. Using a catcher system also allows for maintainability without a downtime problem. Once each phase is occupied, the next phase can be planned for. Modular data centers can also be stacked or grouped together to increase their capacity.

Another benefit of modular design is cost savings. As demand for data centers grows, companies will have to expand their facilities. As a result, they must plan ahead for future growth and customer deployment deadlines. Overbuilding is a risky and expensive approach. However, modular data centers are a great way to avoid overbuilding because they allow you to start small and add space as demand increases. Additionally, the modular design will make the commissioning process faster.

While sustainable data centers require a leap of faith, the short-term sacrifices are well worth the long-term benefits. Luckily, many colocation providers and hyperscalers are leading the way by adopting sustainable designs. And even the Sandia National Laboratories are creating and sharing architectural templates to help organizations create a more sustainable data center. So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step towards a more sustainable data center today by choosing a modular design.

Water efficiency

The Federal Energy Management Program provides strategies for water efficiency in cooling systems and resources for data centers. In Figure 1, we can see a simplified schematic of a typical data center. The cooling towers use evaporation to cool the building. A typical data center uses 855 gallons of condenser water per minute. These savings are not insignificant when compared to the cost of operating a typical data center. Data centres should strive for at least 80 percent water efficiency.

Data center water consumption is measured by consumption and withdrawal. The former refers to water lost to evaporation, while the latter is water taken from a source. This can be natural surface water, underground water, or treated potable water. Both categories of data center water usage are important to determine energy and water costs. In order to calculate water efficiency, data centers should calculate their total water use and power use effectiveness, using the PUE as a metric.

Companies are increasingly aware of the importance of corporate water stewardship. Microsoft leads the way with its commitment to reduce its water consumption by 95 percent by the end of the decade, while Amazon and Google are the only two major data centre operators that publicly report their water use. But data centres should be transparent about how much water they consume and make this a part of their selection criteria. It is also important to consider the embodied energy in manufacturing chemicals used to cool the facility.

In addition to reducing their potable water consumption, data centers can use non-potable water sources as cooling solutions. Some large data center operators have found success using recycled water to cool their facilities, and data center owners should look into the use of such water sources in their decision making process. A data center located in a water-stressed area should also be mindful of water availability. There are some data centers in cities where water supplies are lacking, and locating a data center in one of those areas would make the process faster.

Energy matching

Using green energy is an important aspect of datacenter design and operation. Today, data centers consume nearly 1% of global electricity. While that may not seem like a lot, the fact is that they contribute to climate change. Most electricity is generated from fossil fuels. In 2008, a study found that datacenters worldwide emitted 116 million metric tons of carbon dioxide - enough to cover the entire country of Nigeria! In order to address this issue, datacenter operators should adopt green energy practices to minimize their carbon footprint.

To make a sustainable data center truly "green," operators should try to match 100 percent of the electricity they use with renewable sources. This can be accomplished through purchasing renewable energy certificates or green supply agreements. But this approach is not enough; 100 percent renewable energy use does not necessarily mean 100% renewable energy use. To truly achieve this goal, data centers need to implement a comprehensive sustainability strategy. Many data center operators use renewable energy certificates, or RECs, to make this transition. Unfortunately, these certificates are not high-quality and cannot support the claims of a 100 percent renewable energy use.

While these technologies and practices do have some limitations, many companies have started incorporating them into their data center design. For example, Google's data center in Oklahoma already had 96 percent renewable energy use. In fact, it achieved 61 percent renewable energy on an hourly basis globally. However, there are other technologies available for data center operators to consider. In addition, data centers are also able to integrate solar and wind energy into their data center design.

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