DCN October 2017 - Page 21

Green IT power under all circumstances, and we consistently deliver 99.9999% availability or better around the world. However, we have also realised that there is plenty of room to keep this promise while improving efficiency and deploying renewable energy technologies globally. But how should the data centre industry approach sustainability? For us, forward planning and investment in a solid foundation has been key. In the early 2000s, we were mindful of our choice in building materials and the energy efficiency of the components within each data centre, which has had a huge effect on minimising our environmental footprint in the long run. We continue to look for new partnerships such as our recent expansion with Bloom Energy to deploy fuel cells at 12 data centres in the Americas. It is these type of relationships that we continue to build to show that Equinix is dedicated to ensuring that the advantages of our increasingly interconnected world come at the lowest possible impact to our environment, and the greatest benefit for the people and places around us. It’s also important to understand that sustainability is not only a responsible move, but a necessary one to attract business and keep up with the competition. The cost of renewable power sources can be less volatile than power derived from non- renewable sources such as coal, which improves predictability in a company’s business. Investment in technologies that maximise energy efficiency can also decrease energy consumption, reducing costs significantly in the long run. Additionally, customers want to be affiliated with data centre providers that take this matter seriously. Customers often set carbon or renewable energy goals, and in recent years, environmental stewardship has been weighted more heavily in the development of many companies’ brand identities. Energy efficiency across Europe We’ve been quite busy recently in Europe with acquisitions in Spain, Portugal and Turkey. During these times of expansion, our goal of using 100% renewable energy for our global platform is more important than ever. From solar panels in Singapore to fuel cells in Silicon Valley, we’ve worked hard globally to make progress against this goal. We’ve made noteworthy strides in Europe, as our data centres in the region are operating at 81% renewable energy as of 2016, and our newest flagship data centre in the region, AM4 in Amsterdam, operates on 100% renewable energy thanks to state-of-the-art technologies incorporated into the building’s design. The same is true for our UK flagship, LD6. Our International Business Exchanges (IBXs) in Amsterdam are great examples of how data centres can service many customers and regions with minimal environmental impact. Amsterdam is a critical interconnection point that services all of Europe within milliseconds – The Netherlands was ranked number one in DHL’s Global Connectedness “Processing and moving data consumes power: There’s no changing that.” Some of the sustainability measures in Equinix’s new flagship site in Amsterdam, including the use of moss as roof insulation, the application of solar panels, and heating the nearby university building with excess heat from the data centre Index, and as the second largest interconnection market in Europe (behind only London) in our own Global Interconnection Index published earlier this year. Equinix manages more than 14,000 fibre cross connects in Amsterdam alone. AM4 houses 4,200 IT cabinets across eight floors, all while operating on 100% green electricity from mixed hydro, solar and wind generation. Our Amsterdam data centres are also very energy efficient thanks to implementing new technologies into the build design of the IBXs – Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) uses groundwater to help chill air on the colocation floor, rooftops covered with plants and vegetation lower cooling costs and reduce storm water runoff, and photovoltaic solar systems reduce supplement power from the local grid. While progress on environmental responsibility will require investment, hard work, and creativity, I remain optimistic on the future of the sustainable data centre. Most of the industry leaders are taking this matter very seriously, with many moving away from non-renewable energy. As the data centre industry continues to grow to keep up with the growth in internet traffic, environmental responsibility needs to be made a priority as business decisions are made. October 2017 | 21