A green data center is defined as “a repository for the storage, management, and dissemination of data in which the mechanical, lighting, electrical and computer systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact.” Unlike a normal data center, the construction and operation of a green datacenter include advanced strategies and technologies. The credit for invoking the thought of green data centers goes to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2007, it came up with a report on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency, which assessed the current trends in energy use and energy costs of data centers and servers in the U.S. and recommended effective measures to improve energy efficiency. As per the report, in 2006, the energy costs of data centers were $4.5 billion ($7.4 billion projected by 2011) and the data center power consumption was 61 billion kWh (100 billion kWh projected by 2011). Let’s look at some startling facts about data centers and its energy consumption.
• As per EPA, the $7.4 billion annual light bill stands for nearly 2 percent of the total U.S. electricity consumption. • Data centers use 30 to 100 percent more electricity per square foot than office buildings. • According to EPA, a 10 percent improvement in the energy efficiency of the nation’s data centers would save more than 6 billion kilowatt-hours each year, which is enough to power more than 350,000 homes. • A watt saved in data center power consumption saves at least a watt in cooling. • Today’s data center industry is estimated to consume around 1.5% of the world’s energy.
Though the concept of green data centers is a hot topic in the IT circles, the fact of the matter is only a few enterprises are really acting green. Some enterprises shy away because building and certifying a green data center or other facility is a costly affair. But what they fail to surmise is that despite it having high upfront costs, its return on investment is very high. With government becoming very strict, enterprises have no other choice but to join the green bandwagon. By joining hands with third party solution providers, enterprises today gain green datacenter solutions that are cost effective, lend sustainability to business operations and ensure a healthy bottom-line for enterprises.