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Data Storage Key to Meeting Sustainability Goals

  • By Colin Boyd, data centre solutions sales director, Dell Technologies Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    In Northern Ireland, IT departments are increasingly prioritising sustainability as a core component of their Environmental, Societal, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. A recent survey Enterprise Strategy Group revealed (93%) of IT decision-makers consider asking about a supplier's ESG programme when making IT purchase decisions and looking to action their digital transformation strategies.

    In today’s digital age, the surge in data usage, places a significant pressure on organisations throughout Northern Ireland to adopt sustainable practices. This is especially relevant given the high energy prices experienced by many businesses. Notably data centers consume approximately 200 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, which amounts to nearly 1% of all global electricity demand. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that implementing a green data center and addressing the “Environmental” aspect of ESG is top of mind for IT decision-makers.

    That’s where the modern storage solutions are playing a crucial role in promoting sustainability and energy efficiency in data management. There are five key benefits to sustainable data storage that are contributing to a more environmentally friendly and energy-conscious future.

    1. Energy Efficiency:

    Sustainable data storage solutions are designed to minimise energy consumption by leveraging cutting-edge hardware technologies and energy-efficient processors. By optimising power usage, companies can not only reduce their electricity costs but also make substantial reductions in their carbon emissions.

    The adoption of virtualisation technologies and cloud computing is a significant driver of sustainable data storage practices across Northern Ireland. Through the consolidation of physical servers into virtual machines, businesses can utilize technology more efficiently, ultimately lowering the energy required to maintain and cool IT infrastructure.

    Cloud-based storage solutions are furthering sustainability efforts by providing on-demand scalability, allowing companies to efficiently expand their storage capacity when and how they need it. The shared infrastructure of the cloud also helps to reduce waste, resulting in more eco-friendly data centers.

    2. Cost Savings enabled by advanced technologies:

    Embracing sustainable IT data storage practices not only advances sustainability, it can result in significant cost reductions for businesses. Through the strategic allocation of resources and the integration of advanced technologies designed to enhance energy efficiency, organisations can effectively lower their expenditures on hardware and maintenance.

    Irish companies that opt for high-density storage arrays can make the most of their physical data center space while simultaneously making strides in reducing their carbon footprint and overall environmental impact. Dell’s PowerMax 2500 model can deliver more than five times the effective storage capacity per watt consumed (PBe/watt) compared to the previous PowerMax generation.

    New technologies, including Edge Computing and AI, are emerging as sustainable alternatives to traditional centralised data storage methods. These innovations involve decentralising data processing and storage, which brings benefits like reduced latency, enhanced data security and decreased reliance on extensive network infrastructure.

    This shift aligns with Irish businesses' sustainability goals, enabling them to cut down on energy consumption and achieve greater operational efficiency. AI-powered algorithms play a crucial role in this transformation by analysing and optimising data efficiently.

    Machine learning algorithms can identify data usage patterns, allowing for proactive measures like data tiering, where frequently accessed data is stored on faster, energy-efficient drives. By dynamically managing data placement and resource allocation, AI optimization reduces energy consumption and enhances overall storage efficiency.

    3. Minimising Data Footprints:

    Data management landscape is evolving at pace. New data management approaches are gaining traction among IT leaders for their ability to eliminate redundant or duplicate data, which not only reduces storage requirements but also enhances overall system efficiency. By minimising data footprints, businesses in the region can unlock several advantages, including cost savings, improved backup and recovery times, and decreased energy consumption.

    4. Environmental Conservation:

    Conventional data storage infrastructure has long been associated with significant energy consumption and dependence on non-renewable resources, presenting environmental challenges. Whereas sustainable data storage solutions offer a distinct advantage by harnessing renewable energy sources like solar and wind power This shift not only reduces carbon emissions but also lessens the environmental footprint. Furthermore, the adoption of renewable energy sources to power data centres aligns perfectly with the commitment of Irish organisations to a sustainable future.

    5. Regulatory Compliance:

    Across the globe governments and regulatory bodies are introducing more stringent environmental regulations, extending their reach to data storage practices. In Northern Ireland, adhering to these regulations is crucial for organisations to avoid penalties and legal entanglements. By adopting to eco-friendly data storage solutions, Irish companies not only ensure compliance with these evolving regulations but also showcase their dedication to sustainable business practices.

    Advancing sustainability together

    The rise in sustainable data storage in Northern Ireland underscores the technology industry's unwavering commitment to advancing sustainability and driving climate action. This commitment encompasses a wide array of innovations, including virtualization, cloud computing, the integration of renewable energy sources, and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies like edge computing and AI optimization.

    As organizations in Northern Ireland, embrace and further develop these cutting-edge technologies and practices, they not only secure their own future sustainability but also play a pivotal role in fostering a greener, more efficient, and sustainable future.

    The IT industry is gearing up to place a stronger focus on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives. Dell Technologies is at the forefront of these changes, championing ESG initiatives and promoting sustainability in data centers. With a modern storage portfolio, our team at Dell Technologies can empower organisations across Northern Ireland to effectively address the demands of a data-driven world while simultaneously reducing their ecological footprint.

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