Windmills providing alternate energy for data centers.

This week, AWS announced that it was investing in a 189 MW wind farm in Ohio to help power three new data centers it is building in the state. Their goal is to get to 40% renewable energy use on AWS global infrastructure by the end of the year and ultimately to make it to 100% renewable energy use. Now, this is definitely a boost for the environment, but it also though speaks to the growing need to achieve greater and greater efficiency across the data center market.

Use of renewable energy is great for the bottom line for giant companies, like Amazon, but you might be asking yourself how this impacts your business. Advances in alternative energy result in cost-cutting for smaller businesses and boon to efficiency. Here are some energy efficient hallmarks to look for when selecting a data center:

  • PUE – PUE stands for Power Usage Effectiveness and is a measurement of operational efficiency used in the data center market. Data centers that leverage external air cooling, alternative power sources, and other energy efficiency techniques are going to have a lower PUE and in turn, that will reduce your costs. PUE of the data center where your equipment is hosted is factored into the price – whether you see it on your invoice or not. A PUE below 2 is good and below 1.5 is excellent.
  • LEED – LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Not all data centers go for this certification – and it isn’t a total deal-breaker if they don’t have it – but it is independent validation of a building’s green features and sustainability. You can be sure that data centers that were certified LEED have taken extra steps to improve energy efficiency and as a result can pass along operational savings.
  • Cabinet Density – More and more data centers are demanding a power density of at least 3-5 kilowatts, but if they are able to accommodate a much higher density you will result in savings for your business. These savings will be found not only in efficiency, but also in the reduction of required hardware and PDUs necessary for operation.

It may be awhile before multi-tenant data centers are operated solely by windmills and solar panels, but those and other advances in energy use are improving the expectations and operations of data centers worldwide.

Looking for an efficient data center? Contact us today.