Energy efficiency has long been tied to cutting costs. It makes sense that the less power is used, then the lower the bill will be at the end of the month. But there are other considerations that should be made when trying to decide whether or not to scale back on energy consumption, and it relates to the preservation of the planet.
Most energy these days is created by finite natural resources. Coal and oil are responsible for powering a number of machines that provide people with light, heat and more. In enterprise, these fuels are being relied upon to keep computers running and data centers – namely those placed in the cloud – performing to their highest potential.
But even an efficient cloud data center can be improved upon. While it might be working as hard as it can, there are probably still areas where change can be beneficial – namely in the cooling processes that prevent overheating. By developing initiatives that can cut down on the power needed to operate these divisions of any given company, businesses can save on the bottom dollar while also preserving the Earth.
Adiabatic cooling is one method of energy reduction
There are several schools of thought on how to accomplish cooling in the enterprise cloud data center. For major organizations like Facebook, there is an option to go the all-natural route – the company saved $1.3 billion in 2013 by doing things like locating their servers in naturally-frozen locations like the Arctic Circle.
But not every business has that kind of luxury. Thus, other alternatives must be considered. According to TechTarget contributor Clive Longbottom, adiabatic cooling is one way in which to meet conservation goals.
"Imagine a thin glass beaker containing an amount of chloroform, placed in a small puddle of tap water," Longbottom wrote in his explanation of the process. "By blowing through a straw into the chloroform, a person can make the volatile chloroform evaporate, taking in heat from its surroundings – in this case, the water. If the rate of evaporation is high enough (fast air through the straw), the water will freeze."
Increasing demands on cloud data centers complicate cooling efforts
Adiabatic cooling, in itself, is a useful technology to possess. Installing it at this point in time can, however, be complicated. As more information continues to be created and processed throughout the Internet, data centers are going to need to expand to meet changing requirements. In many instances, this will mean purchasing more servers – and more cooling supplies to keep them functioning in an eco-friendly way.
According to Open Compute Project Foundation chairman Frank Frankovsky, there is an evolving need for efficient data centers – by 2020, there is expected to be 40 zettabytes of data being created and leveraged in different ways.
Because the process of expanding and cooling onsite operations is becoming so complicated, it can behoove many organizations to seek out private hosting for their cloud data centers. By moving these operations to a remote location and trusting them to trained technicians in optimized facilities, businesses of all sizes can save money, improve productivity and reduce their carbon footprints all at the same time.
Public servers not ideal
While it may seem more cost-effective to move to a public architecture, chances are that any goals attempted to be met this way are going to fall short. Enterprise-class cloud computing can only be realized in private environments. Public servers and their facilities are often not optimized in the way that they need to be to conserve resources and reach their potential for performance. For those businesses that wish to possess a modern, competitive cloud data center, it will be essential to turn to private hosting providers.