Data is hot right now. It makes our preferred lifestyles a reality rather than a possibility. From algorithms and trend reports to complex programs that put us face-to-face with friends and colleagues across the country, everything is made possible with data.
But as important as data is, it’s often not very energy-conscious. Data sucks up a LOT of energy, from the power needed to crunch those numbers to the cooling efforts to keep data centers and server rooms at optimum temperatures.
JD Freeman, a g-bit business development associate, and Dr. Christopher Wedding, g-bit founder and CEO, recently published an article on the g-bit blog addressing how data centers can have a lower impact on the environment.
The irony here is that data, big or small, often puts us in a position to achieve a greener approach to almost anything, from collaborative projects at work to personal housekeeping, yet the core of those efforts isn’t practicing what we have it preaching.
According to the g-bit article, data centers rank 12th in energy usage relative to all countries. 12th. That’s a pretty high ranking, though well-earned considering data centers fuel our social media, emails, ecommerce, storage, and more.
This energy usage doesn’t come cheap, at both the cost of the environment and to the businesses they serve. By 2020, data centers are projected to have a $13 billion annual energy price tag. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of change for the sake of data.
Whether you’re a data center manager or a business owner who wants to have as low of an impact as possible, it’s possible to have a smarter and lower digital impact on the environment right from the source.
Smarter data center energy usage comes in two forms: demand-side energy reductions and supply-side changes.
Demand-side energy reductions consider the data about the data center: how much energy is required to run the all of the systems, including IT and storage? What steps can be taken to reduce the energy needed?
Supply-side changes take a more innovative approach to reducing the cost and impact of running a data center, from using renewable energy generation to cooling and lighting efficiencies.
Implementing demand- and supply-side changes to energy management for data centers can positively impact data center operations by up to #3 billion, all by simply improving on current practices and implementing better technology.
But these aren’t the only efforts that can help to reduce environmental impact. Business owners and managers can also take a step forward in going green with data by simply assessing the needs of the business versus what the data center service is providing for them.
Freeman and Dr. Wedding outlined a short list of questions that any business, big or small, should be asking themselves when it comes to data management:
- How much does your business rely on data centers?
- Where is your data center service located?
- How does that data center power itself?
- Are you counting their carbon footprint in your reduction goals?
- How secure is your data?
At first glance, these questions might seem like something a business should ask before opting into using a data center. But, realistically, these are questions that should be asked as often as possible.
Going green with your business and reducing your carbon footprint is no easy task, but there are tons of innovative avenues for businesses of all sizes to explore.
If you’re looking to make your business as green as possible, from management to marketing to meetings, check out more content from g-bit’s customizable services.