Supporting sustainability in data center solutions – saving money and energy and protecting the planet

When it comes to providing solutions for IT products that all companies depend on, the important role is related to operational costs and energy efficiency, which played an important role in the decision-making processes of companies and institutions in the past period. But recently, concerns over rising global emissions and energy production costs have pushed them to the top of the priority list. This in turn is causing IT managers in all fields and industries to rethink their approach, especially when it comes to data center solutions where huge benefits can be achieved in both.

the magnitude of the current problem

Estimates vary, but according to the International Energy Agency’s data centers (and others) and associated infrastructures, it accounts for about 1% of global energy consumption. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa alone, this means more than 90 terawatt-hours per year, or enough to meet the domestic energy needs of a small country. In addition, this number carries with it an environmental impact equal to the operation of almost 6 million cars.

Let’s agree that the statistics are big, however you look at them, which in turn means that any action or solution taken to reduce energy consumption will not only save companies money, but will also have a significant impact when it comes to climate change.

change data center

There are many ways to solve this problem in some companies, for example, they can completely abandon local data centers and move to cloud computing. This does not necessarily mean savings in operating costs. There are many companies that may find this solution expensive compared to operating through their unpromising “data center”, and this depends on the budget plan within those companies.

Cloud computing certainly has other benefits, but it seems that the Data Center will remain a reliable operating system for some time to come, albeit with some changes in the operating model to deliver the benefits of cloud computing at a lower cost in terms of energy and emissions. This change is already happening as more and more people are migrating from traditional three-tier architectures (servers + storage + networking) to next-generation models, especially hyperconverged infrastructures (HCI), which most analysts agree are the best and most appropriate way to support energy reduction in data centers and carbon emissions.

This trend is due to the way hyperconverged models work by distributing computing power and storage across low-cost hardware platforms, connecting them to software and using virtualization to provide an easily scalable and manageable operating unit. A mature technology with a range of different HCI platforms available, the following are the expected benefits in terms of energy consumption and climate change from moving from 3-tier models to HCI models:

Measurable benefits can be achieved across a range of businesses, from small businesses to large corporations to high caliber service providers and management.

Compared to traditional three-tier IT platforms, next-generation HCI architecture can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by up to 27% per year.

Across EMEA, HCI conversion could reduce energy consumption by 56.7 TWh and reduce emissions by 14.2 MtCO2 in the period 2022-2025.

By 2025, a full transition to HCI in UK data centers is likely to save 8.1 terawatt-hours of energy and 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, roughly equivalent to 400,000 cars.

By 2025, a full transition to HCI in data centers in the Middle East and Africa could save 4 terawatt-hours of energy and about 2.4 million tons of CO2.

Large-scale data centers provide a PUE factor (energy efficiency) that is much lower than traditional on-premises facilities. Their conversion to HCI structures can increase energy savings by 30-40%.

Next-generation data centers can provide access to renewable energy through long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) and thus contribute to the company’s goal of achieving “climate neutrality” without the need to invest in CO2 certificates.

Working for “climate neutrality”

It is important to understand that the data center industry and solutions have significantly improved energy efficiency over the past decades and are now one of the most advanced industries in terms of energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction. However, it is still a big power user and could be a lot better. But if business continues without significant changes, future energy demand will continue to rise, leading to large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions. The answers to all of this lie in innovative next-generation data center technologies, such as HCI, which have been proven to deliver significant efficiency gains with a significant impact on reducing energy costs and supporting climate change.

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