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Clean, Green Data Centers are the Future

green data center

May 11, 2018

 

Rapid data center growth offers a host of opportunities to improve beyond the competition. Draining 2% of the total U.S. energy consumption, data centers are ripe for energy efficiency improvements.

Accordingly, the global green data center market is expected to reach $55 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of almost 14%, according to the latest market study released by Technavio.

Energy efficiency leads the way to savings

The starting point for data centers looking to green their business is energy efficiency.

PUE (power-usage effectiveness) is ubiquitous for a reason — metrics are necessary to prove an effective strategy. Simple steps like using rack-banking panels, virtualizing infrastructure, installing efficient lighting, and consolidating equipment are all very accessible.

On a larger scale, turning to sustainable energy sources yields not only cleaner but cheaper operations than the competition, according to Bloomberg. With Fortune 500 companies saving $3.7 billion through clean power, there’s definitely something to this strategy.

Think beyond energy efficiency

It’s clear that energy efficiency can create data center cost savings. Beyond that, what options do you have? Lifecycle awareness offers the next low risk, high reward challenge in energy savings.

First, you need something measurable. There’s no point in making changes unless you can track the ROI — which can present challenges when tracking energy-efficiency metrics. When you are making changes through server consolidation, updating conventional PCs, and other energy-friendly moves, you are going to generate used IT gear.

The good news? ITAD gains are measurable. And smart ITAD can create profit centers out of energy-inefficient gear and manage the churn of data center equipment updates.

Maintaining green data centers

Arguably the most important step in greening your data center hardware disposal: tracking what you have. There’s really no way to ensure the best return possible on your gear if you don’t know: 1) when you bought it, 2) the terms of the warranty, and 3) where it’s located.

Tracking these three factors helps you take advantage of bundling and selling your used gear at the highest price point. It also avoids the highly inefficient practice of storing used gear. Out of sight, out of mind, you’ll run the risk of missing key sale points with the added pressure of having to ensure secure storage. Not to mention, any costs associated with secure storage will add up.

Another aspect of lifecycle awareness: your ITAD is only as green as your ITAD partner. Ensure that you are working with a partner that embraces the philosophy that “green” is more than a buzzword.

Healthy ITAD practices are part of a worldwide movement to re-inject usable hardware into markets that demand it. Tapping into those markets requires a global ITAD partner that prioritizes reuse above disposal.

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