Why Non-Green Data Centers May No Longer Be Sustainable

Many businesses now find purchasing and managing on-site servers to store data and run enterprise software an expensive and resource-debilitating proposition. Infrastructure and software require frequent attention, taking up the efforts of full-time staff and other resources. Businesses are increasingly migrating to cloud-based and non-cloud based data centers. These data centers offer time savings, stability benefits and cost savings in running costs, including reduced power bills.

Why Non-Green Data Centers May No Longer Be SustainableThese benefits apart, there is another reason why businesses are increasingly relying on data centers for their storage and hosting requirements. With environmental concerns at an all-time high, migrating to data centers also helps companies reduce their own carbon footprints.

But, what about the data centers themselves? Data centers welcome the additional business coming their way and seek to add to their hosting capacity by constructing new data centers and overhauling their existing facilities. But, with this, they run the risk of having an adverse impact on the environment. Data centers are noted to use copious amounts of electricity and have often been affronted by environmentalists.

Many data centers, by design, waste vast amounts of energy. Research by the Times shows that many data centers, by running at full capacity, waste about 90% of the electricity they pull off the grid. Furthermore, to guard against power failure, they rely on banks of generators that emit diesel exhaust, causing pollution. Data centers use about 30 billion watts of electricity world over, and this is roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants!

A viable solution is "green data centers." Going green requires many fundamental changes, with the underlying concept of having a minimal impact on the extremely sensitive environment in which the data center is located.

  • Many data centers "go green" by adopting low carbon technologies to boost the energy efficiency of data center buildings. These low carbon technologies include installation of solar panels wherever feasible, devising ways to capture and store the emitted carbon, deploying more sustainable cooling and powering technologies, adopting a modular design to activate components only based on demand and more.
  • Of late, many data centers are innovating their spaces to reduce electricity consumption and maximize the use of recycled materials.
  • Green data centers incorporate environmentally friendly designs in the architecture of the building as well. While there is no formal “green” benchmark rating in place for data centers, most countries have green code for buildings, which many data centers adopt. The extent to which data centers have included these standards is an indication of the extent to which they have gone green.

Data centers that want to remain in business have no option but to start going green. It is a win-win proposition for them; not only does it allow them to attract more clients, they gain on their operating efficiency as well.

Lifeline Data Centers is a green data center, and we are consistently making upgrades to decrease our carbon footprint. We have a white membrane roof, we capture and reuse our water, have very efficient HVAC systems and we oversize wire to reduce KW/hr usage. Schedule a tour of our campus to learn more.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.
Alex Carroll