How does a green data center operate?

Many factors play a critical role into how a green data center operates including certain uses of green energy and more.

When we pledged to create a green data center to help reach net-zero emissions by 2050, we had a plan. In fact, the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi), a global organization that enables businesses to set emissions reduction targets, approved this plan and agreed with us that it was in line with the Paris Agreement criteria for net-zero emissions.

Robert Rockwood, the President of Sabey Data Centers, said at the time, “we selected the most ambitious option, 1.5 degrees C. Accordingly, we commit to reduce absolute scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2018 base year, and to measure and reduce our scope 3 emissions.”

Since then, we’ve set even more ambitious goals to be net-zero carbon by or before 2029. Those numbers reach across our scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. That also means recognizing the significance of reducing scope 3 emissions. That means looking at our supply chain to measure and reduce our scope 3 supply chain emissions.

But what does that mean in practice? Here’s how a green data center operates.

Data center sustainability starts with clean energy

We can only create a green data center if we know that the energy we receive is coming from a sustainable environment. Washington State has invested heavily in its green power technology so that colocation data centers can benefit from its usage.

Our green data centers use hydropower as a green energy source. Our facilities utilize the Grand Coulee Dam on Washington’s Columbia River (which produces 6.8 million kilowatts of energy) to great benefit. Data center sustainability starts with clean energy, and that means utilizing more options like hydro and solar power as the technology improves. We’re proud to be on the cutting edge.

Utilizing better cooling options for our green data centers

The geography of our colocation data centers is a huge benefit in our efforts for sustainability. Not only are our region’s costs the lowest in the nation, but central Washington is a unique place in that we’re able to create climate-specific cooling options. For us, the naturally cool climate provides our data centers with better options for cooling, which help to significantly decrease operational expenses WHILE providing the option for a greener data center.

Cooling is one of the biggest challenges that any green data center will face. We’re able to do it utilizing cooling research that we pioneered in the early 2000s. We realized that many facilities were being OVER-COOLED through inefficient methods. Instead of doing the same thing, we utilized new techniques to solve the problem. Now, through simple and efficient design philosophy, we’re able to create a more green and cost-effective cooling strategy.

Connectivity gives us a wider reach than other colocation data centers

One aspect that isn’t talked about as much in regard to data center stability is the reach of your data center. Because we carry a robust and diverse fiber optic network, we’re able to extend our reach with carrier-neutral connectivity options. Those include dark fiber, dedicated internet access, point-to-point interconnectivity, next-gen networks, and on-ramps to the cloud from nearly any location. That allows us a wider range of service without a drop-off in connectivity, which in turn lets us service a wider geographic location for our clients.

While engineering teams have traditionally wanted data centers to be in a physically close space to their operations headquarters, leaps in technology have made that a less important factor — especially when considering the other advantages of utilizing a colocation data center.

If you’re curious how we can help your organization with your cloud computing needs, we heartily recommend taking a tour or talking to one of our experts. We’re confident that you’ll see how Sabey is changing the space for green data centers.

Schedule a tour today to see our facilities in person or contact an expert to learn more.

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