Is It Better for You and The Environment to Relocate?

Is It Better for You and The Environment to Relocate?

Facebook’s cold and sparse data center isn’t just picturesque but also a smart resource-saving option. Cooling thousands of servers in one location can be a costly process. But by choosing a colder climate it could help you cut costs by simply opening the windows.

Location

Your location can make a huge difference to the world and to the operational costs of the data center. Colder climates are more desirable due to the cost-savings on conventional cooling systems. The temperature in the arctic areas is so low that cold air or water systems can literally be run around the data center.

More and more companies are looking to build in the near-Arctic location to make the most of the benefits on offer, like Facebook and Hydro66.

Power Statistics

Unsurprisingly, according to 2017 estimates, about 3%-5% of the world's power is used by data centers and this is anticipated to rise to 8% by 2030. A contributing factor to this statistic is the power required to cool the thousands of rows of servers spread out across the globe. The US Department of Energy says that "the power needed to operate and cool data centers stood at 70 billion kWh in 2016, which by 2020 is expected to have reached 73 billion kWh".

Cost Savings

Due to the scale of these sites, the cooling methods have to be more advanced and offer more adaptive solutions to the ever-evolving problems.

The efficiency of energy usage is usually driven by the businesses interest to keep their costs as low as possible but also prevent causing further damage to the environment.

Cooling air in this natural method does bring an abundance of benefits. One of which is enabling companies to construct the facilities and save 40% of the capital cost by not installing the mechanical coolers all together. However, this is only an option if you choose to build in these cooler climates.

Reality

So, why aren’t most data centers located in these colder regions?

The reality of it is that most data centers aren’t located in these colder regions due to various reasons that all interconnect. With the location being such a long way from end-users it creates a latency and consequently diminishes the quality of the experience. Nowadays people expect everything instantly and if they don’t get it, they go elsewhere so they can.

There are certain services that will suffer due to this.

When making the site location decision for data centers, companies have to think about many different eventualities. The practicality of sending a technician to a site in a remote location for monitoring, maintenance or repairs is far from ideal. If the IT team cannot get to site quickly then this risks mission-critical applications being offline for hours or even worse, days.

There will be many other internal reasons why companies haven’t crept into these colder climates. In the attempt to save cooling costs by moving to a remote location you may incur other costs that wouldn’t exist in easily accessible places. Realistically, only the very large global corporate businesses have the resources to construct and run these sites which may not be attainable for the large portion of the world.

Businesses will be forced to look into their costs and assess whether relocation to remote areas is a sensible decision for them and whether they can benefit from it and ultimately aid in the future protection of our planet.

This problem isn’t just a monetary implication but also an environmental one.

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