The omnipresence of internet in our daily lives contributes significant convenience through cloud computing and accessibility to endless information. However, the biggest tradeoff, oblivious to many, is the carbon footprint generated to power data centers that store those servers.
From a quantitative perspective, the song “Despacito” debuted in 2017 is one of the most-watched videos of all time at 6.9 billion views, as of August 2020. While the song is still going viral around the world, it has consumed energy more than 40,000 US homes in a single year. The whopping view-count is a substantial indicator of the environment and delayed repercussions to our motherland in the future.
To execute each search results, click, or streaming videos, it requires more than 6 to 8 data centers around the world to work collaboratively around the globe.
Many should be familiar with gigabytes (gb) or terabytes (tb). Soon, those IT lingoes will be obsolete and replaced by zettabytes, which is a billion terabytes, or a trillion gigabytes. It has been reported that the whole digital universe (not marvel universe) is expected to hit 44 zettabytes this year, and if accurate, we will be having 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the observed universe.
As the world embraces remote working and digitalization during this pandemic, it is expected that more data centers are required to meet those data demands. This form of acceleration in digitalization pushes major cloud players like Apple or Google to green-proof their data centers with Fossil Free data, a green data center standard.
Unlike single-use plastics that are choking the oceans, which may be intervened promptly with government regulations or inculcate a change in users’ behaviors. Our IT infrastructure will have to double-up to create more innovative green solutions such as underwater data centers or better cloud storage techniques in years to come.
Reference: Channel News Asia