A common misconception about datacenters, is that the actual number of ‘datacenters’ is growing world-wide. The truism is that the number of facilities classed as ‘datacenters’, is actually shrinking thanks to the consolidation of enterprise and corporate facilities into IBX providers like Equinix, Crucial’s choice for its locally hosted infrastructure.
Additionally, the boom in virtualisation technology has meant the physical space required within a DC has shrunk; rack space is shrinking per production output. This is thanks to increasing computing power and denser storage options such as multi-core processors and SSD storage.
Common knowledge however, is that global datacenters account for a significant portion of total IT and ICT related carbon emissions; the catch 22 behind this is that our demand for Cloud based services has reached all time highs and is exponentially growing.
As many of us are now fully aware that people, animals, transport, cities and countries all have a measurable carbon footprint. Business is now so acutely in tune with the social effect this has on their credentials, that a failure to accept or identify one’s shortcomings can be detrimental to the brand’s image. Its almost as if you are denying the environment a fair say, after all we’re all in this together.
Facebook says in 2011, its datacenters and operations used 532 million kilowatt hours of energy, and emitted 285,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. About 23% of the energy that Facebook’s facilities consumed in 2011 came from renewable energy sources such as hydro, solar and wind power. The rest coming from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.
In comparison, Google released data a short while ago which detailed its consumption in 2010, a quite substantial 2 billion kilowatt hours of energy. However it is looking to deliver a third of its power requirements from clean energy by the end of the year. If you’re wondering how much that actually is, a typical western style household averages 10,000 kilowatt hours of energy usage per year.
Shifting your attention to what we do here at Crucial, some of you may already be aware of a Australian project called Carbon Neutral. Carbon Neutral is a not-for-profit carbon consultancy and offset provider that assist clients to measure, reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions. It is also a registered environmental charity and works extensively with local governments and organisations to improve visibility for carbon offset programs.
Crucial has partnered with Carbon Neutral’s tree-planting program since 2009, in fact we were one of the first hosting providers in Australian to join such a program. Since our partnership with Carbon Neutral commenced just a few years ago, we have contributed to over 3500 new tree plantings; thanks to our unique ‘one-tree-per-account program’.
If you are interested in viewing the plantation sites located in Australia, please visit Carbon Neutral’s site here. I hope this blog post has given you a little insight into some of the cooler stuff that goes on in the background here at Crucial, enjoy!
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