As the amount of data continues to grow, so has the need for efficient storage that saves energy and reduces companies’ carbon footprints.
Data centers can generate huge amounts of heat and require cooling systems, which can be expensive to run, to bring down high temperatures. But every dollar a company spends on things like energy costs is a dollar not spent on innovation.
Social networking giant Facebook made news in late 2011 when it announced it had chosen Lulea, Sweden, as the location of its new 5-acre datacenter. The city — about 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle — was selected for its cold climate, which would be used to chill the company’s servers for eight months out of the year.
And Facebook isn’t the only major Web company that’s storing servers in Nordic countries; Google put a datacenter in a former paper mill in Finland.
But, rather than relocating or building datacenters in colder climates, there’s a simpler solution.
A recent column in Tech Week Europe argued that turning off the cooling systems and allowing temperatures to rise is the best way to save energy.
More efficient servers that can run at higher temperatures can save money as well as reduce a company’s environmental impact. And as companies cut how much they spend on energy costs, they’ll also see their operational costs drop, freeing money to invest back into the business.