As companies continue to see the value of collecting information on clients and business processes, the amount of data is increasing at an enormous rate. According to Smart Data Collective, 90 percent of the data being stored today was created within just the past two years. With companies information growing, the need for larger, more energy-sucking data centers also increases.
As The New York Times reported, one large-scale data center can consume energy equivalent to a small town’s use. And while data centers eat up an incredible amount of energy, only between 6 and 12 percent of it is used for actual computation. The remaining 90 percent is used for letting servers run idle in case of usage spikes.
Because of the dramatic amount of energy used by data centers and the cost to companies, many organizations are trying to manage their information stockpiles while dealing with the financial and environmental ramifications that come along with it. An article by Smart Data Collective contributor Cameron Graham noted that data centers are responsible for almost 20 percent of technology’s carbon footprint. The environmental impact of such facilities is leading companies to operate in a more efficient and sustainable way.
Schneider Electric recently released a survey of business leaders that found data center efficiency will be one of the most popular techniques for energy management employed by organizations in the next five years. While businesses often look to make physical improvements to their data center in an effort to increase efficiency, many companies are now utilizing either colocation or cloud providers that employ energy efficient and sustainable practices.
Fixed costs associated with a data center’s cooling, hardware and power can be reduced with the help of cloud computing, which in turn allows a company to increase agility and growth. Adopting a virtualized environment, be it by the transition of applications into the cloud or server virtualization, helps companies to consolidate their systems and reduce their overall IT electrical load. Capital costs can also be shifted into operational expenses and help organizations find savings in a variety of sectors.