DCN October 2017 - Page 19

Green IT the yearly consumption of most countries. As an example, Japan has estimated that their data centres will consume all nationally produced power in 2030. This is an issue that cannot be ignored, whether from a societal or sustainability perspective. Green is good So, what does a data centre company with facilities in Norway and Sweden have to offer in this context? Climate. Norway is a mountainous country and as the clouds from the North Atlantic hit these mountains, massive amounts of rain are effectively converted to green hydropower on its way back into the sea. This power is what fuels Nordic data centres. The polar and temperate climate is ideal when cooling warm data centres, and the DigiPlex air-to-air cooling systems and evaporation technology is the most efficient data centre cooling solution in the world. From a sustainability perspective, this is good news for the planet. As fibre access is improved on a global scale, the location of data centres is less and less important. Not only the Nordic companies can benefit from their regions green offerings, but all companies worldwide can start taking steps towards a more sustainable data centre initiative. Globally, data centres are moving towards becoming more environmentally friendly than they have ever been. However, they are still working on becoming 100% sustainable. Today, most Nordic data centres use only green hydropower. The rest of the data centre industry is still experimenting with running centres on a mix of solar, wind, and hydropower, plus wood chip and sawdust waste. There is still a way to go to compete with hydropower. “Data centres are responsible for 2% of the world’s So what does it cost? annual CO2 Green is sometimes an expensive ordeal, however this is not the emissions case for Nordic data centres. Based in one of the coldest and 3% of year-long climates in the world, global power Nordic centres can operate on consumption.” hydroelectricity. Which in the Nordics, is far less expensive when compared to alternative power sources around the world, such as coal or oil. This allows centres to cool far more effectively and efficiently, while still constantly innovating to bringing the Power usage Effectiveness (PuE) down even further. Green means less power which again means less cost. In addition, the green Nordic power is extremely cheap as both taxation and production cost is very low. 70-75% of variable costs of operating a data centre is for power. Providers who put efficiency at the core of their design and use less power, are much more attractive. Today, the average data centre delivers a PuE of 1.8 or higher. DigiPlex has attained a PuE of 1.1 and the goal is to go even further. The opportunity for savings in this space is compelling. Based on the cost of power alone, DigiPlex has estimated that a company deploying 12MW over 10 years with DigiPlex will save over $100m compared to an equivalent in the UK. In addition, there is a significant sustainability advantage. Despite DigiPlex’s significant energy requirements, its CO2 output is next to zero, largely due to its access to clean renewable energy in the Nordics. If DigiPlex’s power demands were met by coal, its total annual CO2 output would be 17.6 kilotons, the approximate annual output of 4,000 passenger cars. Responsibility and complacency Businesses and the data centres supporting them will both need to take responsibility for their environmental footprint, and sooner than they think. Organisations such as Greenpeace, with their Click and Clean campaign, are raising urgent awareness of the impact of ‘dirty data’. It’s not out of the question to assume that in the years to come, governments will be pressured to introduce penalties and tariffs on companies and data centres using dirty power, making complacency even more costly. October 2017 | 19