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Greenifying Data Centers To Reduce Carbon Footprint

The ecological impact of carbon emissions is a ticking time bomb, which nobody can afford to neglect or ignore. Since every industry has a role in destabilizing the ecological balance, the onus is upon them in coming up with measures that maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact. The IT industry, which is responsible for about 2% of the world’ carbon emissions has already taken steps in that direction. Since data centers are largely responsible for growing energy use and increased carbon emissions, efforts are made to reduce the carbon footprint of data centers using technologies such as smart grids, low emission buildings, datacenter virtualization, and so on.

In today’ digital age, data centers are something that we cannot do without since everyday huge chunks of data is stored on data centers. As the demand for data centers increases so too does the energy use. In such a scenario, the only way left is to greenify data centers.

What make Data Centers Green?
A green data center is a centralized repository for the storage, management and distribution of data where the lighting, mechanical, electrical and computer systems are designed in such a way that it uses lesser energy thereby causing less damage to the environment. A data center can be considered as green when the mechanical, lighting, and electrical needs are met by using environmentally friendly power sources such as wind, solar power, hydropower, biomass and so on. This helps to reduce carbon footprint, conserve natural resources, save money, and help maintain a cleaner planet.

Green data center was just a concept a few years back but now it is a reality. The following is a list of the enterprises and organizations that played an important role in making this concept popular by greenifying their datacenter hosting.

Google is the proud owner of $300 million data center called Hamina data center located in the southeast of Finland. This data center uses the concept of seawater air conditioning (SWAC) or deep-water source cooling for equipment cooling. Here the cold seawater drawn from 25 feet below the surface is used for cooling.

Facebook is constructing a large data center in the small Swedish town of Lulea. The electricity required for Lulea datacenter would be fully derived from Hydropower while the cooling requirements would be taken care of by the local weather since being close to the Arctic Circle it has a frigid climate throughout the year.

Intel depends on wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower for their electricity requirements.

Steel Ocra is developing a large data center at the site of an old steel mill across the river from Trenton, New Jersey. They plan to depend on the Delaware River for its cooling requirements while the electricity would be derived from landfills and solar panels.

Microsoft’s data centers in its Dublin office uses 50% less energy compared to other typical data centers.
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  Published Date - January 20 2012
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  Mr. Martin Lobo
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