March 22 is l’International Data Center Dayor the day to celebrate internationally i data center, the “hidden giants” increasingly at the basis of our economy and our daily life.
International Data Center Day in honor of the digital services we use every day
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It is increasingly clear: the ability to work, communicate and innovate increasingly depends on the Internet, while the Internet itself depends on the data center. The latter are the backbone of the digital services we use every day, often through our phones, computers, cars or homes. They help to sustainably scale innovation and economic growth in an increasingly digital world.
Furthermore, as the demand for data processing and storage continues to accelerate with the shift to cloud and online applications, their demand continues to grow rapidly and to become the foundation of the global ICT ecosystem. In January 2021 they were almost registered 8,000 data centers globally.
That’s why data centers are so big
Most data centers have one minimum site size of 3 acres (over 12,000 m2)but ideally they arise on even larger plots of land that give the possibility of building a real campus.
This dimensional trend is dictated by the fact that greatness equals greater efficiency economically and environmentally compared to a number of smaller facilities offering the same capacity. Large structures built ad hoc make it possible to achieve economies of scale and to optimize electricity consumption and, thanks to this optimization, the global use of electricity for data centers has in fact remained relatively stable even if internet traffic has increased by 20 times in the last ten years.
What is the environmental impact of data centers?
Data centers are among the structures most energy vore in the world. According to the International Energy Agency the electricity consumption of data centers in the world reaches approx 220-320 TWh/year, equal to about 1% of total world consumption. As a yardstick, let’s consider that in 2020 the annual electricity requirement in Italy was equal to 301.2 TWh.
Because of this, the data center industry takes data center management very seriously environmental responsibility, particularly with regards to energy and water usage, with an early move towards green energy helping to create a strong and robust market for renewable energy (for an example, see the recent “thermostat setting” of Equinix and the latest PPAs) .
In 2021, the industry helped form the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pactwhich commits signatories (who now represent more than 80% of the industry) to achieving climate neutrality in their operations by 2030.
Local benefits of data center construction and development
The positive economic impact on communities dictated by the presence of a neighboring data center is significant. Especially in the initial stages, the birth of a data center creates jobs in construction, then becoming an important ICT work center which, in cascade, stimulates the updating of local public infrastructures, the attraction of other companies that want to place their operations near a data center and an economic driving force for all neighboring companies.
The development of an ecosystem
Multi-tenant and colocation data centers facilitate business expansionecosistema ICT. For such ecosystems to form, it is essential that the participants physically locate their ICT infrastructures close to each other and that they have no limitations or restrictions in terms of processes or regulations for data exchange.
Today, almost all companies that have IT resources and need to engage their customers more effectively, have understood the value of joining this type of ecosystem, thus contributing to the continuous and growing “network effect” which made colocation services a critical element of the digital infrastructure, the same underpinning the mission of Equinix.
What is their future development?
“Faced with the continued and rapid expansion of the global digital economy, the data center industry has grown with tremendous demand. With the adoption and diffusion of new and emerging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and data analysis, the generation of data and the demand for services guaranteed by data centers will only accelerate, forcing its key players, such as Equinix, to respond to increasingly interconnected ecosystem logics, to satisfy a variety of stakeholders ranging from public to private and to realize a zero carbon future”, he declares Emmanuel Becker, Managing Director di Equinix Italia.