It's non-negotiable that customers have around-the-clock access to your services, but your IT uses a lot of energy to achieve this. Customers are factoring environmental impact into buying decisions more frequently and there's increasing pressure from Government towards reaching carbon neutrality, making it essential to improve the energy-efficiency of your IT.
Data centres are highly efficient environments for hosting IT, and are under constant pressure to use new technologies to use as little energy as possible - making them a great infrastructure partner to help you achieve your sustainability goals.
What’s the carbon footprint of your IT?
Any time you’re using a computer to connect to the internet you are using electricity. I know this seems painfully obvious, but you also need to consider that for your internet connection to work, you are consuming electricity across the network infrastructure to access data on remote servers.
The International Energy Agency calculates that 3 hours of video streaming generates the equivalent of 108g of CO2 through it’s energy use. And the Carbon Literacy Project has calculated that one day’s worth of received emails is the equivalent of 1.7kg of CO2 generated.
It’s easy to see how the environmental effect of your IT can quickly build up, especially when staff are using their computers and your IT system for 8 hours, 5 days a week.
How can data centres help with sustainability?
Data centres are facilities designed to host servers and other IT equipment, and they're the backbone of modern IT. With digital technologies constantly expanding and developing the data centre industry has come under scrutiny for the amount of energy it uses. However, modern life wouldn't be possible without data centres, and operators who have put sustainability at the core of their business are essential for a green future. Responsible data centres make use of cutting-edge technology and well-researched policies to operate in a highly energy-efficient way.
Hosting your IT with a data centre that prioritises sustainability will reduce your IT’s power consumption thanks to this efficiency. As well as reducing your company’s carbon footprint, this will also be good for your budget as you’ll be spending less on your energy bill.
How are data centres so energy efficient?
One of the most energy-intense elements of running IT equipment is cooling servers, so this is an area where there is a lot of energy to be saved through efficiency.
Data centres use several techniques and technologies to cool their servers efficiently, including:
- Cold aisle containment which forces cool air onto servers instead of being wasted elsewhere
- Immersion cooling; an advanced technology capable of cooling high-performance computer systems very efficiently
- A range of efficient technologies used to generate chilled water with many different methods in different data centres
At 4D we generate the chilled water used on our data floor using evaporation in cooling towers. Since evaporation is a natural process that does not require energy input (it’s the way humans cool down through sweating), very little energy is used to chill the water which then, in turn, cools our servers.
How is data centre energy-efficiency measured?
The energy efficiency of a data centre can be measured using its PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) score, which is calculated by comparing the amount of energy the data centre needs to power its severs versus the total amount of energy it uses in its operations.
PUE is calculated using:
Total Energy used by the Data Centre ÷ Energy just used by Servers = PUE
With a theoretically perfect score of 1, the lower a PUE score is, the better. The industry average PUE score in European data centres is 1.8, but 4D are proud of our industry leading PUE of 1.14, which makes us one of the greenest data centres in the world.
How do you work towards more sustainable IT?
Moving your IT out of the office and into a responsible data centre, either through colocation or cloud services, will boost the sustainability of your IT, improve new business with eco-conscious customers and futureproof your business against changing environmental legislation and rising energy costs (not to mention protecting the planet).
So if you want to work with an award-winning data centre with industry-leading green credentials, check out our services or get in touch to discuss how our services can progress your digital transformation.