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Green Data Centers Making Headway

One of the hottest trends among data centers in the past few years – at least if you believe the trade magazines – has been environmental concerns. Data centers have the potential to become much more energy efficient, reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, and lessen their environmental impact.

Yet how much progress has actually been made is debatable. Data centers are, ultimately, accountable to their organizations, owners, and shareholders. If a change is good for the environment but bad for business, chances are it’s going to be put on hold.

Positive signs

The good news is that, according to recent research, data centers are indeed reducing their environmental impact. On average, today’s data centers operate 13% more efficiently than they did just two years ago. This represents a significant change.

However, not everything here is as it seems.

Greening isn’t usually the motivating factor

When it comes down to it, data centers aren’t necessarily making green decisions because it’s good for the environment, or out of some sense of corporate social responsibility. No, the changes data centers are making mostly have to do with cost.

Data centers are saving money on their power consumption by implementing a number of technologies and solutions, including things such as:

•    Virtualization. Server virtualization just makes sense for most data centers. It creates a situation where IT resources are being used much more effectively, reducing capital costs and saving energy along the way.

    Cloud computing. By moving applications out of the data center into the cloud, individual data centers are becoming greener. In general, even the addition of the cloud provider’s environmental impact still shows a net improvement.

•    Advanced cooling technologies. These technologies save data centers money and they also help equipment function optimally.

•    Better management tools. Today’s data center management tools allow administrators to squeeze every bit of capacity out of their environment, and are better able to help identify inefficiencies.

While these changes are helping to save data centers money, they also prove to provide measurable environmental savings. As the underlying technologies themselves become more and more environmentally friendly, it’s only a matter of time before data centers demonstrate even more significant improvements.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.