While the financial and scalability advantages of the cloud and data centres are clear to everybody, the environmental aspect remains a topic of much discussion. It is often said of providers of data centre services and cloud computing that they do not do enough to be regarded as ecologically sustainable. Of course, it cannot be denied that these parties consume a very large amount of energy, but the cloud is still much better for the environment than most people initially think.
We are in the middle of the “Information Big Bang” and mankind is expected to generate more data in the next five years than in the last 500 years. Although only time can tell whether that is true, one thing is certain: data can be found everywhere these days. It is created by everybody with a smartphone, tablet or PC. Even our cars, houses and many other appliances now produce data. And an increasing amount of storage and processing capacity is required for this ever increasing volume of data. The systems that facilitate this capacity run in data centres. These data centres use energy to provide the systems with electricity and to run cooling systems to guarantee a conditioned environment. AMS8, just like all of Interxion’s other data centres, has a large power supply capacity with a phased modular architecture to facilitate the most efficient use of energy.
To the advantage of cloud providers, they have a high-quality IT infrastructure which is extremely homogeneous and has a high occupation rate and good scalability. This ensures that cloud providers generally waste less energy than traditional IT models. Furthermore, the concentration of servers in a single location results in a large ecological advantage compared to if these servers were located in the many individual organizations. In addition, cloud providers are in a position to select energy-efficient data centres, thanks to their size and the uniform way in which they save and process data. The large independent providers of colocation data centre services, in particular, lead the way in the use of sustainable energy technologies and the innovative methods used to increase energy efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and decrease the amount of waste.
Taking the above into consideration, cloud providers and data centre providers are generally much more energy efficient than traditional IT models and enterprise companies. On top of that, cloud providers and data centre providers are doing everything to further reduce their energy consumption. For this reason, we continuously monitor our data centre environment so that we can optimize our energy consumption every day. However, the image that many people have of data centre suppliers and of the cloud is not going to change overnight. It will require time, and data centre suppliers and cloud providers will, therefore, have to continue coming up with innovative ideas to continue contributing to the cleanest possible environment. It is for good reason that Interxion has committed itself to using sustainable energy technologies, such as using outside air and groundwater for cooling and recycling residual heat.