Estimates place the world’s data centers at using about 1-3% of the entire world’s energy. In an economy that can’t exactly reduce its data needs, how can these data centers aim to use less energy? Actually, we have been, and more ways to reduce energy consumption continue to come to light.  

Energy Usage At Data Centers

According to studies performed in 2016, the actual servers at a data center use about 43% of their total energy, and that same amount again to cool the server rooms. The final 14% is for storage drives and everything needed to support the data network. All of this energy usage is currently essential until better technology can be developed.

Fortunately, as global increases in the need for data and storage capacity persist, the technology beneath them has largely kept pace. The equipment we use is far more efficient than it has been previously –  both at the physical level and from techniques like server virtualization. 

Colocated data centers have the advantage of housing a multitude of companies’ data in one place, and therefore reduce the energy consumption that would take place if each of those companies were to have created their own individual data storage facilities. For example, colocated data centers have the liquid capital to invest in the latest technologies such as innovative cooling systems. In some cases where cooling may be particularly important, some data centers are built in cooler climates for that express purpose. 

As the world begins to use more green energy sources, the question will be less “How can we use less CO2 emitting energy?” and more “How efficient can we be with our green energy?” So long as we continue a green transition, someday we won’t need to worry about this. Until then, how can you save energy used by your data server?

Considerations for On-Site Data Centers

First of all, do you need an energy-hungry server computer that produces a lot of heat at the core of your business? People talk of large companies using their servers to heat entire buildings, but energy-efficient computers can get the job done just as well for many small businesses. Don’t build a high-spec server that wastes money.

Next, look at ways to create or improve the efficiency of your data server. There are many guides for this online, allowing you to learn how other companies use less energy or which servers are the best for energy efficiency.

Larger businesses should always have a dedicated energy efficiency expert in their data center team. Some of the things they can do for your server include using artificial intelligence and virtualization to manage your data.

Artificial intelligence can monitor your equipment at all times for efficiency opportunities. They automate processes previously done by humans to save energy, such as adjusting temperature settings on cooling systems. Some large companies claim artificial intelligence lessened their energy needs by 30%.

Virtualization is a way to use fewer servers and therefore less energy overall.  Essentially, the server is segmented into sections – or “virtual drives” – and each group then does the work of multiple servers at once. This can help performance and energy efficiency across a system of servers.

Advantages of Colocation Data Centers

Of course, if you simply move all of your data servers off-site alongside the servers of other businesses, you’ll have all of the advantages with a relatively small start-up cost. These colocation data centers can focus entirely on the energy efficiency of your data storage, investing in all the best processes, technology and upcoming innovations.

The same is true for security at colocation data centers. They can be more secure than an on-site data center because they are being hired with a focus on security. Just like keeping your money in a bank as opposed to under your mattress, a colocation data center can be safer and more efficient.

Learn more about Rack59 and what we’re able to offer for your data storage needs, visit our website.