Traditional data centers have been the go-to since the dawn of data. But as time goes by, it’s becoming increasingly clear that these ‘legacy’ centers face numerous challenges that put your organization at risk. In this article, we discuss the drawbacks of traditional data centers and why modern solutions are key to future-proof operations.
1. You can’t grow your business at the speed of your increasing computing needs
Like many businesses, your company's need for high-performing data and computing power is rapidly growing. However, relying on a data center that lacks the ability to keep up with the growing demands of modern computing environments severely limits your company's potential for growth and digitalization. For example, the cooling methods employed in traditional data centers aren’t equipped to handle the heat generated by today’s high-performance computing equipment. As a result, you may not be able to scale and expand your operations as needed.
To address these limitations and support growth, it’s essential to house your data in a data center that can provide advanced technological solutions such as liquid cooling – an innovative method that can efficiently manage the heat released from modern computing equipment. By leveraging such solutions, you ensure your IT infrastructure can keep up with your company's ever-growing computing needs.
2. You can’t keep up with sustainability goals and regulations
With the increased demand for greater computing power and its subsequent need for more powerful computing equipment, the energy consumption of data centers is rising. However, due to inefficient energy use, traditional data centers cannot keep up with sustainability goals and regulations. These data centers typically use large amounts of electricity to power and cool their equipment, contributing significantly to energy waste and your data’s carbon footprint.
This not only hinders your ability to meet your internal sustainability goals but also exposes you to scrutiny regarding your sustainability efforts. For example, 2024’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will require you to publicly report on your company’s carbon emissions and efforts to mitigate environmental risks – including the environmental impact of your data and your data center’s supply chain.
To comply with regulations and sustainability goals, you need to choose a center that leverages and prioritizes sustainable solutions, practices and distribution networks. For example, a data center in Sweden that utilizes renewable energy sources, energy recovery systems, free cooling, and local construction materials emits 98% less emissions than a typical data center in Germany.
3. You’re limited in terms of capacity
As your data usage continues to grow, so does the amount of data in your data center. Traditional data centers tend to have limited capacity, and their infrastructure isn’t designed to support the rapidly increased demands for storage and processing. This means that, sooner or later, you will either have to move your data to another location or scatter your data throughout multiple centers.
When you need to move data to another data center, you'll incur costs related to the transfer, such as the cost of the network bandwidth, storage, and data migration tools or services. These add up quickly, especially when you’re dealing with larger amounts of data.
Also, the more data you have, the more challenging it becomes to move it without disruption to or downtime of your operations. You also need to ensure that your data is protected and secured and that there is no data loss during the transfer process. This may require specialized expertise and tools that further add to the cost and complications of your transfer.
To avoid these issues, it’s essential to have a plan in place for future-proofing your data. This means moving it to a modern data center that can accommodate the growth of your data needs over time. A center with scalable capacity can easily add more storage or computing resources without needing expensive data migration. The sooner you move your data to a modern data center, the less expensive and more secure the transfer will be – in both the short- and long term.
4. You can’t ensure the consumption of ‘green’ electricity
If you have your data in a traditional data center, you’re probably contributing to more pollution than you think. These data centers are often situated in locations where renewable energy isn’t readily available, so they tend to rely on fossil energy sources like coal. And to compensate for their carbon emissions, they buy ‘green certificates’ from other countries – allowing them to claim they are 100% renewable without actually consuming green electricity.
So, instead of having your data in a data center that buys its green energy from another country, why not place it there to begin with? Sweden (and the Nordics in general) is known for its sustainability initiatives and abundant renewable energy. Data centers there take advantage of accessible and effective energy technologies such as solar panels, hydropower, wind turbines, and geothermal energy – meaning the electricity they directly consume is green. This drastically reduces the carbon footprint of their operations and, incidentally, your data.
Placing your data in a data center powered by renewable energy also contributes to sustainable development by supporting the growth of renewable energy infrastructure. As demand for green energy grows, there is a greater incentive for developing new renewable energy projects, leading to more jobs and economic growth in the sector.
A modern data center has more benefits than sustainability and increased data capacity. To learn what they’re truly capable of, read about EcoDataCenter’s solutions for colocation, wholesale, HPC, and supercomputing.