In this article

By: Don Molaro, WWT Chief Technical Advisor, and Manfreid Chua, Intel Director, Strategic Business Development – Sustainability

Now, more than ever, data centers are being challenged to meet increasing demands for storage, compute and networking while also being environmentally responsible. IT leaders need to ensure the data center is able to support these growing storage and performance needs while minimizing the energy and water utilization needed to power this growth. As organizations pledge to take climate action to achieve Net Zero by 2030 or 2050, sustainability is emerging as a priority for many executives.  

According to a recent Gartner survey, 87 percent of business leaders expect their organization's investment in sustainability to increase over the next two years. The primary drivers for this increased focus include the rise in energy prices due to international conflict; the business impact of climate change on operations; tightening global and local regulations; and pressure from stakeholders to be advocates for a better world.  

The organizational journey to sustainability involves connecting environmental commitments to technical operations. To achieve sustainability and carbon neutrality, IT leaders must invest in areas that will establish an efficient data center.

By focusing on circularity, optimizing for workloads, upgrading to more energy-efficient infrastructure, consolidating servers and more, leaders can improve performance and deliver cost savings with the same or more workloads but with a smaller data center footprint, reducing carbon, water and waste.

Setting up a foundation for success

Before organizations start down the path of adopting new technologies to increase the sustainability of their IT operations, IT leaders need to first understand their current infrastructure as baseline measurement is the first step on the journey. For example, Intel® Data Center Manager can measure, model and control the operational carbon footprint of the data centers, giving the staff the data needed to locate computers that should be decommissioned and find areas where carbon emissions can be addressed.   

Once an audit has been completed, the next step is to assess and consolidate workloads to their most optimal environment and densify the data center. Densification not only addresses bandwidth demands but also maximizes the use of the current data center footprint. Additionally, many workloads can take advantage of the built-in accelerators (for AI, HPC, etc.) inside the Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, delivering incremental performance, and thus energy, cost and carbon savings.  

The third step is to automate IT processes where necessary to improve efficiency and workflow deployment accuracy. 

And then repeat. 

Why? Because optimizing an organization's current infrastructure before investing in new technologies will set the infrastructure teams up for success tomorrow. 

Exploring sustainable IT solutions 

The market is constantly changing, and so is the response from technology manufacturers. When it comes to upgrading to energy-efficient infrastructure — such as the 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors that have more built-in accelerators for real-life workloads and are manufactured with more than 90 percent of renewable electricity — and investing in energy-saving technologies, like liquid cooling and AI and analytics, it can quickly get complex, but it doesn't have to be. 

WWT and Intel's longstanding partnership helps break through the noise to deliver solutions that not only meet your business's needs and goals but also work seamlessly and efficiently within your IT infrastructure. We are always testing real-world scenarios with innovative technologies from our partners so that our clients can have the validation they need before anything is shipped and deployed. 

Because when it comes to establishing a more efficient, sustainable data center footprint, it's not just about today — it's about the future. 

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