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Cloud computing is booming and consequently there is a massive surge in the data center business as this forms the backbone of cloud services. The data center boom is particularly visible in Asia Pacific. Companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Google are investing billions of dollars to erect data centers. Whereas Google set its first data center in Singapore and Taiwan, Amazon Web Services (AWS) constructed them in Singapore and Tokyo (Japan).

What is a data center?

A data center is a building which is utilized to store servers, cables, storage devices, as well as Internet connection. Big data centers have industrial-scale infrastructure which uses electricity equal to a town. According to a US Department of Energy study, data centers consume about 2 percent of the total electricity produced. They used around 70 billion kilowatt hours in the year 2014, says the study done in collaboration with Stanford University, Northwestern University, and Carnegie Mellon University. The structures are so energy intensive that they need a huge amount of water to be cooled.

What is a green data center?

Climate change, global warming, and pollution are threatening the environment. It is necessary to reduce humankind’s carbon footprint. In a green data center, the electrical, mechanical, and computer systems are made for maximum energy efficiency as well as minimum environmental impact. Many steps are taken to reduce the overall carbon footprint like minimizing footprint of buildings, waste and water recycling, and using low-emission building materials and alternative energy technologies such as evaporative cooling, heat pumps, photovoltaics, among others. To be environment friendly and lower the costs of operation, several companies are reducing electricity and water use at data centers. Apart from making basic changes in the design of data centers in order to reduce energy demand, organizations install energy-efficient equipment as well as water-saving cooling devices.

Conserving environment through corporate social responsibility

A green data center may be costly initially. However, the long-term savings in terms of operations, power, and maintenance can reduce bottom lines later. This is one more case where companies can improve revenues through using green technologies. Also, green data centers provide employees with a healthy work environment. Green data centers also improve ties with local communities as well as environmentalists. The entire concept is about businesses being environmentally responsible and returning to the planet.

Go Green to cut costs and improve finances

“At this moment, the data center industry is one of carbon debit. It should move towards a carbon credit one. I think green data centers are a growth area full of potential and the concept is indeed getting global support. For instance, there is a push by Singapore government for green technologies, particularly in the field of Information Technology (IT). In fact, energy efficiency can lead to significant cost reduction. This can help improve the bottom line,” says the official of a data center infrastructure company.

Reasons for boom in data centers in Information Technology industry

There is a huge proliferation in smartphones and tablets, along with an exponential expansion in the reach of the Internet. Moreover, there are several innovations in cloud computing technology as well as the data center industry. Millions of Internet users get added every month. Good economic growth usually converts into higher data demand. Service providers, especially the Cloud industry, want to improve services as well as reaction times, leading to spike in demand for data centers. As software companies shift from premise-based to Cloud-based technology and thus leave traditional resources like direct servers and software license purchases, they will need fast-paced and reliable IT infrastructure. To bolster such efforts, data centers are required to attain the objectives as well as support a company’s expansion plans.

“Cloud-first strategies are the foundation for staying relevant in a fast-paced world,” says Ed Anderson, research, vice president, Gartner. “Market for Cloud services has grown to such extent that it’s now a notable percentage of the total IT spending… helping to create new generation of startups and ‘born in the Cloud’ providers.”

Apart from Cloud services complementing or replacing the existing IT systems and infrastructure, new applications as well as services are being churned out that exclusively run on the Cloud.

USA, Mexico, Canada move to green cloud computing

Countries like Canada, USA, and Mexico have pledged to source 50 percent of their power generation from clean and non-carbon dioxide-producing sources of energy by the year 2025. To realize those goals, the corporate world needs to do its bit. Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, eBay, as well as Microsoft have pledged to move new data centers to all-green operations. Several big business houses are expressing their intent to shoulder corporate, social, as well as ecological responsibility and help in sustainable development.

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Muqbil Ahmar

About Muqbil Ahmar

Editor-in-Chief and Founder at greenubuntu.com. I am an environmentalist, technology evangelist, women empowerment advocate, writer and editor. Basically I am a storyteller at heart and want to make the world a better place. With more than 10 years of experience in media, I want to be the catalyst for making the world green and clean and rid the Earth of disasters like global warming, climate change, green house effect, pollution, environment degradation, etc. I want to reduce the carbon footprint of humanity for a sustainable development model. I am the founder of www.greenubuntu.com. I have been published on various platforms such as FirstPost, Forbes, TechStory, Greenpeace, The Hindu, Business World, DailyO, Inc. 42, CXO Today, Sify. Experfy, BBN Times.Com, etc. I love to write on tech, economy, films, arts and culture, and other diverse subjects. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.