Data Centers are necessary for major tech companies and technology as a whole- but historically have power hogs; it is estimated that up to 3% of all U.S. electricity powers data centers. This is a huge amount of electricity!
In todays climate with what we know about climate change companies are being more cautious and attentive about going green. Engineers have been developing more energy and cost effective ways to build data centers to be more kind to the environment.
Going into the 1990s the future of the Data Center was looking bright; with the introduction of the internet for global use, tech companies stressed the importance of connectivity, and many new data centers were built and outfitted with new PC technology. Eventually, in our day, the biggest companies like Amazon have developed AWS and cloud, which greatly decrease the physical space needed for the data centers of old.
Energy efficiency has been a big concern as it not only helps the environment but it also helps maintain that business slash prices in the cost of overhead. Server virtualization and automation has been one way, moving away from the physical making the server systems more automated and self-sufficient.
Google, unsurprisingly, is one of the leaders of green tech companies. Normalization of cloud technology, and google’s own dedicated cloud, have made it easier for developers to build out the Google Suite in the most energy effective way.
The Google devs also introduce an interesting point; many large companies expend an equal amount of energy on overhead cooling as they do on their actual system. Seeing this as a major flaw to the effectiveness of a system, Google has optimized its Green Grid standard PUE by building cooling modules underground within the data center and having natural gas power certain services.
Other large companies also value the eco-friendly image and functionality of a green data center, and many, such as Facebook, eBay, Apple, and Equinix AM3, have made the switch to hyper-scale data centers.
With the leading companies heading out the effort, it makes the process easier for smaller companies to follow suit. With the future of tech lying on the horizon, increases in optimization and effectiveness will further perfect the internet and data storage as we know it for future genterations to further build upon. Only the sky (and the cloud) is the limit.