The cloud industry is a notoriously power-hungry sector, with data centres accounting for almost 2% of the global consumption of energy. At first this figure seems hard to believe, but when you consider how much our app-driven world relies on digital connections and data, it starts to make sense.
Many large cloud vendors have already started adopting greener solutions. With large economies of scale at play, cloud vendors can often afford to invest in making their facilities as environmentally friendly as possible, from acquiring the latest green hardware, infrastructure and renewable energy solutions.
The benefits of these strides towards greener IT can also be passed onto consumers. Recent research suggests that for every metric ton of CO2 that a cloud vendor produces, they are saving twenty tons of potential CO2 being produced by their clients if they weren’t utilising shared-tenant facilities.
As we recognise the increasing need to find greener solutions, many are looking for information on how to implement a more environment-friendly IT strategy. This blog post will explore some good starting points you may want to consider for your business.
It’s always best to begin initiating a greener approach to IT by communicating this message to the whole business. This sounds obvious, but the push for energy efficiency may not be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and if the entire workforce took steps towards this, it could actually make a substantial difference to becoming more efficient and to your energy bill.
Green Initiative Ideas For The Office
Firstly, it’s important to understand your current system, its baseline of power consumption, and what factors are in your control. Many resources may be over-provisioned or under-utilised, so a full system audit should identify areas that need attention, and help you design a greener strategy, set goals and measure your progress.
There are power efficiency standards and metrics for every industry, and after an audit is carried out it is important these are met and maintained. You may decide to appoint an individual or team to get the ball rolling, measure and compare current usage, and oversee green IT compliance going forward.
Did You Know…
The paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy in the world – to produce one ton of paper, it takes an estimated 253 gallons of petrol! Added to the on-going deforestation crisis, we should all be aiming to digitalise workloads and go paperless whenever possible.
Utilising virtualised computing resources and services, such as cloud solutions, can mean less physical infrastructure is required, and energy usage can therefore be decreased. Utilising virtual resources allows infrastructure to be shared by multiple users, which can not only be a more cost-effective option for users with no upfront hardware costs, but potentially a more energy efficient one.
Through the cloud, resources such as software, servers, and storage can be delivered simply and effectively over the internet. A pay-as-you-go, resource-based pricing model on a cloud solution means that resources are used in line with demand, instead of having these resources running constantly, which can be inefficient.
‘E-waste’ and unwanted, obsolete technology can be problematic to recycle, and often ends up in landfill. This presents a global environmental problem, and it’s important to consider how we can maximise the potential lifespans of our IT hardware. It can be tempting to constantly update to the latest tech, and perhaps the new equipment represents an increased efficiency, but it’s also worth considering the ‘e-waste’ problem created in the process.
When you invest in new hardware, consider its lifespan and whether it can be reused or recycled, as well as how easily it can be upgraded over the years. When the time does come to recycle old IT products, there are companies who can do this responsibly – consider researching them and reaching out if your cloud provider does not already take care of this.
With mounting pressure for all industries around the world to go green, and cloud industry titans leading the way with commitment and investment into sustainable innovations and operations, it seems it’s only a matter of time until data centres and cloud infrastructure becomes more energy efficient and in some cases, carbon-neutral. As greener, renewable technologies and solutions become commonplace and widely implemented, the future looks to be significantly more environmentally friendly for the industry as a whole.
Here at Secura, we utilise hyper efficient data centres that use planet-friendly technologies, as well as 100% renewable energy from solar, wind and hydro power sources.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
Image credit: naulicrea/envato.com
Matthew is Secura's content specialist, producing gripping, emotionally complex, edge of your seat, cloud hosting articles and videos.
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