DCN October 2017 - Page 18

Green IT The Green Race “The data centre is the heart of the Internet and as business and daily lives are digitalised, the heart must be fit. The trick is expanding, improving and innovating and at the same time achieving sustainability. In the Nordics, we are doing just that,” says CEO of DigiPlex, Gisle M. Eckhoff. T here weren’t many people in the industry 15 or 20 years ago, who saw the demand for data becoming this big, this fast. Companies that were born operating online, such as Amazon and eBay, were much more prepared, but essentially all companies developed a pressing and rising demand for data centre solutions. Predictably, as this escalated, cost became a key concern. Data centres are not only expensive to run, there are also significant costs in cooling them down. Due to the amount of 18 | October 2017 data they store and energy they consume, they can create excessive heat and therefore need to be cooled regularly. To house the data and use energy safely, a data centre is typically housed in a sturdy and secure building that stores servers, with enough space to also house large amounts of cooling equipment. The amount of energy consumption needed to house the data as well as cool the machines is costly to both the companies and the environment. Today, data centres are responsible for 2% of the world’s annual CO2 emissions and 3% of global power consumption, which is quickly increasing. If we consider the macro- drivers, such as digitalisation, content consumption, Artificial Intelligence and IoT, this is just a fraction of the impact the data centre industry may come to have on our planet in the years to come. Global data traffic will increase from 12.9GB per capita in 2016 to 35.5GB in 2021, according to Cisco. The result will be an estimated global electricity usage of 508 terawatts in 2021 from data centres alone, surpassing