Monday, 15 October 2012

Green Data Centres Catching On



There is little argument that Europe is leading the way in terms of green energy initiatives around the world. Yet why is it that there are more green data centres and environmentally friendly web hosting companies in the U.S.? Well, he won't discuss the reasons here. But we will say that things are rapidly changing in Europe.

A case in point is the effort undertaken by the government of Iceland some five years ago. That effort began with the construction of several new state-of-the-art data centres that handle both power and cooling using renewable energy sources. Officials began offering incentives to companies willing to move their collocation or cloud hosting requirements, reasoning that a company with a strong brand and complex data needs could benefit greatly.

Though response has been slow, their Keflavik facility might be on the verge of changing that. The data centre there is run by Vern Global on a 100% renewable energy. They have landed a new customer in the BMW group, who will move a handful of power-hungry applications and data to the facility. Among other things, Keflavik will be the home of BMWs CAD engineering, aerodynamic calculations, and crash simulation operations.

According to officials from BMW, this is no small undertaking. All of the applications they intend to move are considered business-critical; they are applications that must maintain their integrity and be up and running at all times if the company is to continue upward growth. If the Keflavik facility isn't up to the task BMW will go elsewhere.

Verne Global CEO Jeff Monroe is not concerned. In a recent interview he said that "by moving its applications to Verne Global, BMW is showing there are alternatives available today that address the unpredictable and fluctuating power prices found throughout the world and simultaneously reduce their carbon footprint in a very meaningful way.”

Green Is the Way to Go

Though one could arguably make the case that renewable energy can't possibly fuel the whole world as well as petroleum does, it can't be argued that it has a great future in the technology sector. Data centre recruitment, in terms of bringing new clients into the fold, is demonstrating that by focusing on the financial savings companies can realize by moving to facilities like the one in Keflavik.

Furthermore, if the infrastructure and architecture exists to meet the demanding power needs of cloud computing and the Internet through renewable means, why not embrace it? Leave the petroleum for things like fuelling cars and air planes, heating homes, and powering industrial manufacturing. The technology sector can get along just fine by going green.

It seems only fitting that green data centres are leading the charge in the technology sector. After all, it is the Internet age that has fuelled most of the technological advances of the last 20 years. The Internet is business; business is money; and green data centres save both energy and money. Here's hoping Iceland's efforts are profitable enough to spur similar projects around Europe.

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