Eco friendly computer

Green Clouds in Canada

All over Canada, especially around Toronto and other provincial capitals, there are new data warehouses being erected and filled with fiber-optic cable and the latest, most advanced web servers on the market.  Data centers are the most tangible signs of the internet and the cloud service phenomenon that’s revolutionizing the way Canadians do business and live their everyday lives. All manner of commercial activity is migrating to the web as merchants of all sizes now commonly store all their customer data online which means it lives in many strange little buildings surrounded by cooling fans and security cameras, much like the one seen below. Purpose built data storage facilities are deliberately nondescript structures, but easy to identify if you know the eight ways to spot a data center.

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With this growth in infrastructure there’s a corresponding rise in the demand for Data Center Managers. The high quality green job category comes with a relatively light work load, clean working conditions and good pay, especially if security certificates are required. Here in Toronto there are several employers besides Bell and Rogers seeking qualified people to run their expanding operations.

Data storage facilities are the muddy boots of the web and the C-suite executives who manage these enterprises have a growing responsibility to be green. Yet when it comes to battling climate change its often their staff and suppliers that are the muscle behind their words. The CEOs and middle managers have to take a position, and enforce ecologically sustainable practices up and down the line, before and after selling to consumers. The public has to make these executives aware of the need for change, and this is happening in every business sector.
It was recently recognized however that before Data Center Managers can plot how much energy they can save, or how much CO2 they can keep out of the atmosphere, they need to better understand what effects their operations are currently having on the environment.

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Published in June 2013, Google funded a research study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to measure the energy impact of cloud computing. Previous to this the search giant hosted live events in 2009 and 2011 where they discussed with industry peers how to improve data center efficiency to make the web even greener. In 2013, they hosted the first “How green is the Internet?” summit to explore the environmental impact of the web.

How Green is Your Data Center?

The consensus has always been that data storage facilities are among the greenest businesses in North America. The firms have virtually no carbon emissions from their hydro electrical systems, and recycle 100% of the cardboard packaging that arrives in their loading bays. The energy savings already evidenced around cloud computing is also becoming more obvious. Although data centers themselves are big energy consumers, the study by Lawrence Berkeley concluded that if all IT businesses in the US migrated to the cloud tomorrow it could total an eighty seven percent energy savings.

The Green Web Foundation

The Green Web Foundation believes that one day the Internet will be run entirely from renewable energy sources and they’re developing green measuring tools to speed up the transition. Managed in Sweden by a growing group of dedicated volunteers and IT specialists worldwide, they are all supporters of an Internet powered entirely by nature. Founded in 2006, today their work has resulted in a system by which any website could be checked on greenness. In 2010 they released a green web app that’s now served over half a billion checks monitoring the emergence of The Green Web.

Building and certifying a green data center can be an expensive proposition up front, but long-term cost savings can be realized on operations and maintenance. Beside carbon emissions, there are other criteria to be measured for green certification, including the environmental impacts of rotating fans, the temperature of the cooling towers, the reflectivity of the windows, and even the way these facilities store fuels and glycol coolants.

TeraGo Networks Colocation Facility in Mississauga Ontario Canada

The construction and operation of Terago Networks Cloud Service data center in Mississauga Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, implements several green tactics. Purpose built to be highly efficient with smart mechanical advantages, efficient LED lighting, advanced electrical and computer systems, the entire facility is engineered for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact. Their use of low-emission building materials, carpets and paints are some of the finishing touches in this sophisticated cloud storage structure.

The Green Web Foundation believes that one day the Internet will be run entirely from renewable energy sources and they’re developing green measuring tools to speed up the transition. Managed in Sweden by a growing group of dedicated volunteers and IT specialists worldwide, they are all supporters of an Internet powered entirely by nature. Founded in 2006, today their work has resulted in a system by which any website could be checked on greenness. In 2010 they released a green web app that’s now served over half a billion checks monitoring the emergence of The Green Web.

Tourgroupoutside1

Building and certifying a green data center can be an expensive proposition up front, but long-term cost savings can be realized on operations and maintenance. Beside carbon emissions, there are other criteria to be measured for green certification, including the environmental impacts of rotating fans, the temperature of the cooling towers, the reflectivity of the windows, and even the way these facilities store fuels and glycol coolants.

There’s growing pressure from environmentalists, and increasingly the general public for governments to offer more green incentives and monetary support for the creation and maintenance of ecologically responsible jobs. This new information storage facility marks another step in our collective evolution toward a greener society.

About

Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives with her husband and a very bad dog.

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