Energy consumption is 3% of global energy output.

Author: Bhupinder Bhullar

Data will grow by 500% in the next 5 years. With the advance of digital technologies (IoT sensors, space telemetry, personal devices, self-driving cars, digital health, Machine Learning/AI applications, etc.), every industry sector is collecting more and more data1.

The number of Datacenters continues to expand and currently consumes 3% of the global energy production.  In the United States alone, data centers consume 1.8% of all of the electricity utilized in the US.



The graph (CIO Insight 2020) shows that Data Servers (red) consume the most power, followed by infrastructure (yellow), then data storage (blue) –Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Disk (SSD) – followed by networking.  Notice the trend of steadily increasing energy consumption from data storage and servers – which will only accelerate as data grows.

This rising energy consumption underscores data center energy usage as a critical area of concern driving a high priority mission among leading government organizations to reduce data’s carbon footprint.

If you are concerned about your data’s environmental footprint, you can take immediate action by doing the following:

  • Reduce energy for your data storage. This is a great start, yet in major markets, and emerging economies, the majority of the electrical energy comes from coal. Energy consumption is, therefore, directly correlated to the data-carbon calculation. Reducing the energy burden also means overall infrastructure reliability.
  • Reduce space for your data systems. Data’s space usage contributes to the CO2  footprint … and this gets worse if one needs to scale-up. Data racks need thick concrete flooring to manage the weight and thick walls to contain the noise. Cement (the important ingredient in concrete) produces 8% of the global CO2 emissions. Reducing the required physical footprint, especially if you are building new, reduces the CO2 component.
  • Deploy durable equipment. Sourcing products designed to last a long time wherever possible in the pipeline provides a more stable data ecosystem. Racks that need to be replaced every 2 to 5 years will result in environmental costs for disposal. Utilize low energy and long-lasting equipment for long-term data storage.

Swiss Vault is building the next generation systems to manage data with less energy and space. We aim to empower individuals, small business owners, and large corporations to manage data with more privacy and reduce the impact on the environment.

We all have a role to play to reduce data Carbon footprint. Follow us on this channel for more information.

Reference: 1. Reinsel, D., et al,., “Data Age 2025 … focus on data that is BIG”, 2017, IDC Reports

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