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    Which is more sustainable: buying new, more efficient equipment or using renewable energy?


    December 5, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      DPCs (Data Processing Centers) are facilities, of varying sizes, in which companies bring together servers, storage and networks to process all their data and applications. In other words, they are the technological heart of the economy.In 2020, these data centers will consume 375 terawatt hours of energy worldwide, which corresponds to roughly 1.5% of global energy consumption. However, and due to the digitization of business processes and applications, this figure is expected to continue to grow, so business and industry decision-makers know they have a great responsibility to make these data centers more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.But how to achieve this, which is more sustainable: buying new, more efficient equipment or using renewable energy? In general, in enterprise data centers located in Europe, 40% of the energy consumed is due to servers, approximately 20% to storage, and the rest is spread over networking and cooling. So, if these servers are replaced by more efficient systems, the energy bill will logically be reduced.The research and advisory firm Atlantic Ventures has conducted a report on the impact of sustainability in data centers for Nutanix, a manufacturer of hyperconverged systems, in which part of the hardware is replaced by software.The results of this study, based on the simulation of an average European data center, show that automation, cooling systems, renewable energy and the transformation of traditional 3-tier architectures to next-generation models (such as hyperconverged infrastructures) will be key to reducing data center energy consumption and carbon footprint, with savings estimated at 1.1 million kilowatts of energy per year for this average data center. If we multiply that by the average industrial electricity price in recent years, the annual energy cost savings is 200,000 euros. If calculated on the basis of the price of energy over the next few years, the bill rises to approximately 330,000 euros.In other words, in the area known as EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), the hyperconverged transformation has the potential to reduce energy consumption by 56.7 TWh and reduce emissions by 14.2 million tons of CO² over the period 2022-2025.However, it should be noted that the authors of the report themselves point out that these economic figures vary greatly depending on the country in which the data centers are located, mainly due to the energy mix in each of the countries. Thus, those with a high proportion of nuclear energy (such as France) have relatively low savings, while in others, such as Germany, where there is a large amount of gas and coal in the energy mix, the impact is quite high.In fact, according to the authors of the report, it is in Germany where the greatest energy savings could be made; up to 3.7 million tons of CO2 equivalent by 2025 by switching to a more efficient system, which is equivalent to annual savings of approximately 500 million euros which, at current prices, would be twice as much, depending on how prices behave in the coming years.

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