Data Centers

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The growth of data centers and their carbon footprint, due to the energy requirements to run both the servers and air conditioning needed to cool them, is becoming a growing concern around the world. A data center is a building that stores computer systems and associated devices. A carbon footprint is described as the amount of greenhouse gasses, especially carbon dioxide, emitted by activities of an individual or company over a given period of time. (Webster’s Dictionary) Data Centers currently represent 1.5% of all electric consumption. (Energy engineering)

The demand for storing and processing data, which has grown more than 50% annually in recent years (mckinsleyquarterly) is the attributing factor to the growth of data centers. With this demand, more data centers are not only increasing the quantity of servers but these server are also running hotter due to rising processer counts, increasing chip densities and the implementation of blade servers. All of this in turn, increases the demands on the air conditioning units to keep the servers cool, creating more electricity usage. For every kilowatt hour needed to run the server, another is needed to cool them. (Scientific American)

Companies have strong motivations to reduce their carbon footprint. Every kilowatt hour saved is one less that has to be paid for, and with the average server using somewhere in the range of 450W of electricity (8,678 kilowatt hours annually)( can add up quick. According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) survey 21.8 percent of IT executives have power and cooling to be there number one challenge and Data center space was their third. Reducing energy consumption and freeing up data center space can be easier that you would expect. John Felton, CIO of Sprint, said “We found some applications and servers that just weren’t being used. Some applications were running, and no one was doing anything with them. They just left them, and they...
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