The Benefits of Making Your Data Center More Sustainable
As businesses grow, so does their need for data storage. And with the rise of big data and IoT, that demand is only going to continue to increase in the years ahead. This is putting a lot of pressure on data centers to find new and innovative ways to become more efficient, reduce energy usage and lower costs.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to make your data center more sustainable. Implementing these best practices can help improve your Return on Investment (ROI) and make your organization more environmentally friendly at the same time.
The benefits of a sustainable data center
Making your data center more sustainable offers a number of benefits for your organization. Here are some of the top reasons enterprises are making the switch:
1. Improved energy efficiency: One of the biggest benefits of making your data center more sustainable is that you will see a significant improvement in your energy efficiency. By making simple changes, such as using more efficient equipment or powering down servers when they’re not in use, you can reduce your energy usage and save money on your electrical bill.
2. Reduced environmental impact: Making your data center more sustainable can also help reduce your environmental impact and improve your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). By using less energy, you’ll be releasing less greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, and you may even be eligible for government incentives and tax breaks.
3. Increased ROI: Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to make your data center more sustainable is the fact that it can actually improve your ROI. By reducing your energy usage and costs, you can save money and improve your bottom line.
There are many ways to make your data center more sustainable, and it may take some effort to get started. But by implementing some of these best practices, you can help improve the efficiency and sustainability of your organization while also making a positive impact on the environment.
How to make your data center more sustainable
Here are a few simple ways to make your data center more sustainable and efficient:
1. Use energy-efficient hardware: When selecting new hardware for your data center, choose models that are Energy Star certified. This will help reduce your energy usage and save you money in the long run.
2. Optimize your cooling system: Your cooling system is one of the largest expenses in operating a data center. Research has found that anywhere between 30% to 55% of a data center’s energy consumption goes into powering its cooling and ventilation systems — with the average hovering around 40%.1 Make sure your cooling system is properly calibrated and tuned to match the specific needs of your data center.
3. Operate within a safe temperature zone: ASHRAE recommends that data center temperatures should be kept between 20°C – 24°C for maximum efficiency and server longevity. If a data center gets too hot, the servers can overheat and cause significant downtime and financial losses. To avoid this scenario, many operators choose to keep their data centers cooler than suggested. However, if you run your data center at just one degree closer to ASHRAE’s specified temperature range, you could save 4% on energy costs annually.
4. Implement DCIM software: Use data center infrastructure management software like Hyperview to optimize power usage for operational technologies and IT devices. You can use the software to unlock stranded capacity, track Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), and monitor your total facility power and IT energy usage at-a-glance. You can even measure total power usage versus budgeted capacity at the rack-level, as well as, get alerts if a threshold is reached. All of this can help reduce energy consumption and save you money on utility bills.
5. Educate your staff: Make sure your staff is aware of the importance of sustainability and energy efficiency in data centers. Educating them on proper usage habits and helping them to understand how their efforts directly contribute to your organization’s ESG targets can motivate the right energy-savings behavior.
Organizations that have made their data centers more sustainable
As mentioned earlier, making your data center more sustainable can have a positive impact on your ROI. By making a few simple changes, you can reduce your energy usage, save you money and make your data center run more efficiently. Here are some examples of organizations that have made their data centers more sustainable:
Google is known for its innovation and commitment to sustainability. In fact, the company has been awarded the Environmental Leader Award for Data Centers four years in a row. In order to make its data centers more sustainable, Google employs a number of strategies, including using renewable energy, cooling the servers with outside air whenever possible and recycling or reusing water. Google’s data centers use 50 percent less energy than the average data center, resulting in significant cost savings.
In an effort to make its data centers more sustainable, Meta (Facebook) has implemented a number of innovative strategies, including using solar power and evaporative cooling. The company also uses outside air to cool its servers whenever possible, which helps reduce energy costs. Meta’s data centers are some of the most efficient in the world, and they continue to strive for even greater sustainability.
Apple takes sustainability seriously, and has made significant strides in making its data centers more environmentally friendly. For example, Apple’s Maiden Data Center in North Carolina is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The company also uses recycled water and aims to use as much recycled materials as possible in the construction of its data centers. Apple is committed to using clean and renewable energy sources wherever possible to power its data centers.
Making your data center more sustainable can have a number of benefits, including reducing energy usage, saving money and making the data center run more efficiently. By implementing some simple best practices and a DCIM software, you can help make your data center more sustainable and improve the bottom line for your organization.
Hyperview is a next-generation, cloud-based DCIM software with smart power monitoring, environmental monitoring, and energy management tools. For a closer look on how to use the platform to make your data centers more sustainable, book a free software demo.
1 T. Liquori (23 August 2022) Dataspan: Data Center Cooling Costs
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