October 11, 2023
5 min read

How can we make data centres more sustainable long-term?

Understanding data centre energy consumption

The world has become dependent on digital technology.  The demand for data centres has increased. Data centres are the backbone of the digital economy. The problem is, they consume a lot of energy. A ton of energy!

According to a report by the International Energy Agency, data centres were responsible for about 1% of the world's electricity consumption in 2019. This is equivalent to the total electricity consumption of Germany and Japan combined.

The environmental impact of data centres has become a growing concern. The IT industry is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, companies have been taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint, but more needs to be done. In this article, we will explore some of the ways in which we can make data centres more sustainable long-term.

One of the biggest challenges facing data centres is their energy consumption. Data centres require a lot of power to operate, and this power is usually generated from non-renewable sources such as coal and natural gas. The first step in making data centres more sustainable is to switch to renewable energy sources.

Effective approaches to tackle data centre energy consumption.

Many companies are already taking steps to switch to renewable energy sources. Google, for example, has pledged to run its data centres entirely on renewable energy by 2030. Other companies, such as Microsoft and Apple, have also made similar commitments.

In addition to switching to renewable energy sources, data centres can also be made more energy-efficient. One way to do this is by using advanced cooling technologies. Data centres generate a lot of heat, and this heat needs to be removed to prevent the equipment from overheating. Traditional cooling methods such as air conditioning are very energy-intensive. Newer technologies such as liquid cooling and free cooling can be used to reduce energy consumption.

Liquid cooling involves circulating a liquid coolant through the servers to remove the heat. This method is much more efficient than traditional air cooling. Free cooling, on the other hand, uses the outside air to cool the data centre instead of relying on air conditioning. This method is particularly effective in colder climates.

Another way to improve the energy efficiency of data centres is by using virtualization. Virtualization allows multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical server. This reduces the number of physical servers required, which in turn reduces energy consumption.

Data centres can also be designed to be more sustainable from the ground up. This involves using sustainable building materials, designing the building to maximize natural light, and using renewable energy sources for power. The location of the data centre can also play a role in its sustainability. Data centres located in areas with a high concentration of renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power, can be more sustainable than those located in areas with a high reliance on fossil fuels.

Data centres can also be made more sustainable through better management practices. This includes monitoring and optimizing energy consumption, using energy-efficient equipment, and recycling or reusing equipment when possible. Companies can also implement sustainability programs to reduce their overall environmental impact.

Green Storage & Personal Data

Green storage solutions can also be used to make data centres more sustainable. Traditional data storage solutions such as hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs) require a lot of energy to operate. Green storage solutions, such as Togggle, use a decentralized network of nodes to store data. This reduces the energy required to store data and makes the process more sustainable.

Togggle’s green storage solution is based on the principles of sustainability, efficiency, and security. By using Togggle, companies can reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint while still enjoying the benefits of data storage. Togggle’s decentralized network also makes data storage more secure, as data is stored across multiple nodes.

In conclusion, making data centres more sustainable long-term is essential to reducing the IT industry's environmental impact. Switching to renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, sustainable design, and better management practices are all important steps in achieving this goal. While many companies have already taken steps to make their data centres more sustainable, more needs to be done to address the growing demand for digital technology. By working together, we can create a more sustainable future for both the IT industry and the planet.

Another important aspect of making data centres more sustainable is to increase transparency and accountability. Companies should be transparent about their energy consumption and carbon footprint, and they should be held accountable for reducing their environmental impact. Governments can also play a role in promoting sustainability by setting regulations and incentives to encourage companies to reduce their carbon footprint.

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