Snapchats themselves are actually pretty small fish in the world of mobile data, with images using just tens of kilobytes and videos about 2 MB. But combined, social media activity and streaming media account for an insane amount of data use, which in turn has a heftier environmental impact than you might think. If current trends continue, a family of four will have the same CO2 emissions from their combined cellular data as they will from the family minivan within 3 years.
The electricity at stake isn’t simply charging your phone: when you send that Snap of your cat falling off the counter (which is admittedly pretty hilarious), it’s beaming over various paths through wireless networks that use a ton of energy to a data center that uses a ton of energy and back to those dozens of other phones.
Like many data center providers, Green House Data works closely with government organizations large and small. In the past few years this trend has accelerated dramatically, as the federal government pursues data center consolidation projects and government CIOs, like their private counterparts, realize the attractive flexibility and ease of use found in the cloud.
Early this year, Department of Defense CIO Terry Halvorsen even mentioned his intent to pilot a public-private partnership, where private hosting companies operate within a highly secure DoD data center. What might a public-private partnership for IT services look like, and how else can government organizations and hosting service providers cooperate to reach their respective goals?
Beginning around 2011, the mainstream media and activist outlets began paying attention to data centers, putting the pressure on industry leaders like Apple, Microsoft, and Google to clean up their power sources. These companies were already pursuing efficient operations – after all, every saved watt is saved money. But the increased coverage did seem to push them towards using renewables, as the general public realized that data centers use a staggering amount of energy and produce thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
We’ve covered all that before, and we’ve also touched on the swelling focus on data center water use, as well (facilities often require significant water use for cooling systems). But the environmental footprint of a data center goes beyond electricity or water. With systems this complex and engineering designed for 24/7, year-round operation, there are many additional factors that can often have negative impact on the planet.
Here are eight overlooked areas of the data center that have significant environmental implications.
If you’ve spent much time around data centers, you’re likely familiar with load balancing. But if you haven’t, it’s a vital concept to understanding how to keep your infrastructure available to all of your users, while also maximizing the efficient use of your computing resources. Even if you’re familiar with load balancing, there are some recently released tools and similar concepts that we’ll cover in order to share your workloads across your servers — and even across the country.
If you missed it, President Obama designated October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The move was designed to engage and educate the public to increase awareness about cybersecurity issues and increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.
As Cybersecurity Awareness Month comes to a close, now is an ideal time to evaluate your security measures to keep your information safe.
Businesses are increasingly dependent on the internet for their daily operations. With vital information to protect, a regular assessment of your business’ security protocol should become habit. Consider what information your organization collects, how you store information internally, who has access to the information and what measures your organization takes to protect this data. Is it secure? Would your customers feel secure with your data storage techniques?
These three areas should be among the first on your list when evaluating your cybersecurity.