Modifying your old car to run efficiently can be as green as buying a new hybrid vehicle because you are reducing your environmental impact without using up all the resources and energy it takes to produce a new car. Well, the same is true with data centers.
Accenture analyzed the results of case studies gathered from the likes of Yahoo, Sun, Oracle and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, among other big names, and a study put out by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Their results confirm that new data centers using the latest efficiency recommendations can achieve 79% infrastructure efficiency, and old data centers that alter their structure to fit the recommendations can achieve 74% efficiency. Darn near equal.
They found that a widespread exploration of energy savings would be equivalent to taking 8 million cars off the road – but the key word is “widespread.” Each data center can make changes, sure, but it takes an overall paradigm shift to really make changes. Data centers have to be more open to sharing what they’re doing to be efficient so that efficiency not only means saved electricity, but also saved time and brain power – a collaboration to an important goal of reduced CO2 levels.System modifications that have worked to increase efficiency so far include airflow management, water cooling, consolidation and virtualization. Also a great approach is data compression.
With data center energy use expected to double in the next 4 years (not hard to imagine with all us eco-geeks hanging out on our laptops), maximizing efficiency ASAP is an important priority. With this report, it’s great to see that we don’t have to scrap the old centers to green up. The full report will be out on July 11 for perusal.
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