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The Future is Green Data Centers
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May 23, 2013

The Future is Green Data Centers

By Drew Hendricks

As Google and Apple (News - Alert) pave the way with solar powered data centers and technology, other companies are trying to build sustainable storage and server facilities. Green technologies aren't just better for the environment; they are usually more economical and efficient with space. No matter the size of a company, we all rely on off-site servers and storage in various ways. Third-party cloud services, dedicated business servers, and colocation hosting are just some reasons why companies invest in green data centers.

Take a look at these five advantages listed below in regards to using green data.

1. Energy savings

Green energy tactics encourage effective use of space, unique temperature control techniques, and faster technology to ensure that data centers require less energy input. Consolidated servers mean that data centers take up less real estate, which leads to lowered upkeep costs. Efficient processors allow information to be stored and relayed faster, reducing the amount of hardware a data center requires to keep up.

2. Ecological impact

As wind and solar energy is used at major data hubs, electrical waste is reduced significantly. Rather than using heaters or air conditioners to control temperatures, most modern green data warehouses utilize free cooling techniques by changing the architecture of their storage layouts. Free cooling allows companies to use natural airflow and thermal reservoirs to maintain the low temperatures that servers, computers, and hard drives require. These solutions help drive down operations costs and prevent excessive use of gasoline or electricity.

3. Hardware safety

Hardware lasts longer when it runs under optimal conditions. In old data centers, power outages, faulty fans, and poor mechanical air circulation could spell the end for servers. Once they become overheated, servers and hard drives become unreliable and may fail. As water and air cooling systems replace the old methods of temperature control, they can continue to regulate environments even during emergency scenarios.

4. Tax incentives

State legislatures are continually drafting tax incentives for companies to embrace green technology. Explore these options with a financial advisor, and see what requirements one's office or offsite data storage must meet to qualify for tax breaks. Investing in data warehousing services may not pay off immediately, but government officials are continuing to work on incentives. The popularity of green data centers has allowed this particular market to grow exponentially, with a current value of $8.26 million.

5. Cost efficiency

Operational costs for data centers are continually going down, as companies embrace green practices. Intel estimates that companies save up to $480 per green data center, over four years. Microsoft (News - Alert) has also completed intensive studies on enterprise-level data centers, finding out that the bulk of operations costs go toward electricity for older, non-green data warehouses. By actively monitoring energy use and switching over to green facilities, cooling methods, and layouts, companies can reduce energy use by 20 percent. Tech companies are continuing to evolve, helping SMBs and enterprise companies reduce their ecological footprint, energy use and operations costs.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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