Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

Summary: An announcement from self-avowed managed service and cloud hosting provider Datapipe, based in Jersey City, N.J.

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An announcement from self-avowed managed service and cloud hosting provider Datapipe, based in Jersey City, N.J., caught my eye this morning, mainly because of the rather bold claim that the company is making: It now uses renewable energy sources for all of its data centers based in the United States.

That strategy has helped Datapipe become one of select number of IT companies nationwide that are part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Leadership Club. That designation is used to recognize companies that have gone above and beyond certain levels in terms of their renewable energy purchases.

For example, if your organization uses between 1 million and 10 million kilowatt-hours power annually, then you must purchases 100 percent of your power needs from green or renewable sources to be named to the leadership club. In the case of Datapipe, the organization makes green power purchase equivalents (that's the operative word here) of approximately 56 million kilowatt hours annually. The company also touts its energy efficiency practices. For example, it uses ultrasonic humidifiers, which it says use up to 90 percent less electricity than traditional humidifiers.

So, as I poked through the Leadership Club list, I noticed a common thread: Many of the other IT industry players that have been named to that distinct are either hosting providers or managed service providers. Which made me wonder: are green or renewable power considerations becoming a large part of the evaluation criteria that companies use to pick a hosting provider? If not, they really should be. Here are some of the other companies that show up with Datapipe on the list:

Have you heard of any of these players?

Based on my quick read of some of these web sites, it is clear that a lot of the "green power" that these companies are purchasing is in the form of renewable energy certificates. The fact is they are trying, which provides a point of unique differentiation in a market crammed full of managed service providers. The question is, does this matter to your organization? As you look to outside organizations to handle your data center needs, is the energy sourcing for those data centers a consideration? In my opinion it should be, but what do you have to say?

[poll id="232"]

Topics: Storage, Data Centers, Hardware

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11 comments
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  • RE: Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

    That's baloney....renewable energy certificates are a scam. Carbon offsets don't do anything but put money in somebody's pocket. I can't believe ZDNet would publish a BS article like this.

    If you want to save energy, switch to LED lights.
    RushRocks
  • RE: Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

    Since alternative energy sources are coming online extremely slowly, and electricity use in the U.S. overall is increasing, this basically means that they overpaid for bragging rights as other people are moved to coal because that's their only option.
    aep528
  • RE: Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

    So what it means is that someone chose ideology over financial sense. Not the sort of person I would want to run my center.
    Dorkyman
    • Shysters put finances above ideology.

      @Dorkyman
      The kind that would sell their own mother for a buck. Would you really trust your livelyhood to that kind of scum?
      kd5auq
      • RE: Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

        @kd5auq I'm petty sure that's not what Dorkyman was saying.
        Bill4
  • tqarob

    http://tqarob.blogspot.com/
    tqarob
  • RE: Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

    Of course it matters. The right electricity is both reliable and reasonable to purchase. That pretty much leaves out the Heather Clancy kind.
    nikacat
  • Last time I checked it was AC current

    If you are on grid, it doesn't matter because you don't know where that electron movement came from unlike packets on a network. When crude oil hits about $300 a barrel, then alternatives will be a reality.

    The only problem with alternatives is that the machinery is expensive and the power output is lower. Wind Turbines are the best option now. With them, the price of crude doesn't have to go much further up.
    osreinstall
  • RE: Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

    Alternative energy is a must if we want to save the Earth from global warming. There are some very smart people working on this and they will make a lot of money...
    prof123
    • RE: Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

      @prof123 That's the entire problem with renewable energy, companies know that once you've sold a turbine, that's that, it'll need servicing after a few years, but that's not a whole lot of money and not necessarily paid to the original manufacturer. Thus everyone who sells wind turbines/solar collectors(other than solar panels, these actually have high manufacturing costs)/whatever else is constantly trying to think of ways to milk more money out of the consumer by building systems designed to fail after a certain period of time or to be less efficient than they could be and demanding so much more money per sale than what they should be. Seriously, 5000 dollars for a tiny kilowatt wind turbine without any mechanics or electronics besides a passive tail fin-based turning mechanism, when hobbyists are making these for a fraction of the cost out of plastic barrels and other SCRAP?
      It's not the non-renewable energy that's gonna kill us, it's greed, greed is the only reason we aren't already powering everything with renewable energy and making our items as long-lived as possible. Greed is the only reason we continue to wage wars (at least other than the wars due to the destructive force that is religion, but that's another topic) and there is such a thing as a poor, starving or homeless person.
      Onaka
  • RE: Does it matter what sort of electricity powers your data center?

    No.
    james347