Sustainable Data Management

Data centers account network data like social network profiles and uploaded media. The U.S. alone stores a third of the world’s data—nearly 900 exabytes (900 billion gigabytes)—in data centers all over the country. With eight Internet users coming online every second, six of them in North America, data centers have to expand constantly to make room.

However, expansions take their toll on the local power grid. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, data centers consumed a total of 91 billion kWh, enough to power New York’s homes twice over, in 2013. Most of the consumption stems from HVAC systems used to keep the databanks cool. After all, heat is the enemy of sensitive electronics.

With power consumption slated to shoot up to 140 billion kWh in five years, data centers must do their part to reduce demand. Power monitoring systems from leading suppliers help businesses keep their energy consumption in check and respond to unusual spikes promptly. Having a clear idea on factors that drive energy consumption up is the first step in sustainability.

Current sensors set up around select electrical loads gather invaluable information on energy consumption. For instance, in HVAC loads, managers can decide when to set the cooling at full blast or reduce power. They can also use the data to decide whether or not to install additional energy-saving features like heat vents.

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