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Is your data center on a “carbon diet”?   no comments

Apr 22, 2013 @ 9:55am New York Datacenter,Web hosting

solar_system TurnKey Internet’s New York data center is on what we like to call a carbon diet. When we constructed the facility, minimizing our impact on the environment by using clean, renewable energy and ultra-efficient design was the initial goal.  Last week, we announced that our New York data center is now at the “zero carbon footprint” status–powered by 100% renewable resources with our on-site solar system and the NYS Government’s Recharge New York hydroelectric power feed.

So what does carbon footprint mean, and what exactly is so important about a zero carbon foot print?

A carbon footprint is the measure given to the amount of green house gases produced by burning fossil fuels, measured in units of carbon dioxide. Traditional data centers and cloud services companies consume massive amounts of electricity that is produced by fossil fuels–in the U.S., that is primarily done with coal. Those green house gas emissions given off by converting coal to electricity are what cause global warming and negative global climate change. Therefore,  every device that consumes electricity (such as a computer server in your office, or a web hosting server on the Internet) is contributing to the problem.

Data centers in the U.S. and across the globe house thousands of computer servers in a central location and consume enormous amounts of electricity. Data centers consume even more electricity to keep those computer servers cool, due to the massive quantity of heat they (the computer servers) produce. The best and most recently constructed data centers utilize efficient cooling and energy distribution designs to minimize the amount of electricity they must consume. However, if they consume their electricity from coal or other fossil fuels, then the data center is still an immense source of pollution. Data centers are expected to pollute more than the airline industry by 2020, according to this 2008 article in The New York Times.

Some companies such as Yahoo and Apple have been building data centers with ultra-efficient designs, and powering their facilities with clean, renewable energy.  Many companies, data centers, and cloud service providers are seeing colossal increases in energy costs. Making the massive investments for data centers that utilize clean, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro and geothermal is finally becoming a reality.

So why should this matter to you?  Let’s say you have a computer server in your office, and finally make the transition to the cloud. You place that server–or rent a new, highly-efficient one–in a data center. You can now choose a facility that is using renewable energy, so that your computer server will no longer be powered by fossil fuels, and thus, will no longer generate CO2, which damages the environment. It’s hard to imagine that the computer server in your office is hurting the environment as it stands today, isn’t it? Moving it to the cloud is not only a wise choice for reliability, security, and redundancy, but also for the environment.

The next time you select a cloud services provider or data center to work with, make sure the data center is on a carbon diet. Your waistline may not be impacted by this diet, but the rest of the world certainly will!




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