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April 2011

How to reduce your data centre CO2 emissions

As data centre managers consider ways to reduce the CO2 emissions of a data centre, they often begin by targeting data centre IT equipment and how effectively it is used. By introducing new equipment and virtualisation to boost utilisation rates, IT managers can achieve rapid results in reducing total data centre energy use. But, in key ways, this approach misses the point of carbon emission reduction. For long-term savings rather than short-term gains, any strategy to reduce carbon emissions has to be well-planned and well-implemented. Such foresight and solid execution, however, involve new approaches not only to the IT equipment in use but also to ancillary equipment. Consider, too, the lifecycle management of equipment to reduce the “embedded” carbon footprint—the total energy use associated with a product’s manufacture, transport and use. It takes energy to manufacture and transport equipment, and all items have their own carbon footprint before they even arrive at the data centre. For you, the data centre manager, this ...

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