What is the IT industry's carbon footprint?

Today, one of the most topical issues is the environment. Kilowatts and kilowatts are consumed in data centers. They need to consume less energy. The digital sector alone accounts for 4% of all CO2 emissions, 1.5% more than air transport. Let's take a look at the environmental impact of the digital sector in this article.

Economic constraints are driving changes in IT carbon footprints

Although specific needs are evolving, the overall needs remain the same. A few years ago, the global need was to make more money by spending less. Today, the need is to keep our businesses viable while taking into account the scarcity of our planet's resources and their over-exploitation. The famous day when we consume the equivalent of a year's worth of the planet's production is arriving earlier and earlier every year. Today, companies are increasingly aware of this environmental constraint and need to become "greener". The carbon footprint is ultimately a good indicator of pollution, even if it should not be considered the only one. In our technical choices, we must give priority to what is most efficient in terms of ecology.

An IT infrastructure that adapts to changing needs

We must all try to consume as little as possible, using methods that reduce consumption according to need. We need to design machines that adapt to demand. It's difficult to measure the carbon footprint saved by a particular infrastructure, but we must bear in mind that a more flexible design is needed.

One way of reducing the environmental impact of applications is to use containerization solutions, which can adapt the resources allocated according to needs: see the dedicated article.

In summary, consideration of the environment is essential in all sectors of activity, including information and communication technologies. We need to design greener solutions by optimizing existing programs, developing interconnected and independent building blocks, and using methods that reduce consumption as needed.

This article is based on an interview with Nicolas, solutions architect at Blue Soft.

How can we concretely reduce the carbon footprint of IT?

Here are a few ways to reduce the carbon impact of your IT infrastructure:

  • Virtualization and containerization: Virtualization enables several physical servers to be grouped together in a single virtual machine, thus reducing the number of servers required and thus energy consumption. As previously stated, containerization takes this a step further, by adjusting capacity as closely as possible to demand. This is the case with Microsoft tools.
  • Cloud computing: service providers cloud can optimize the use of their resources to reduce energy consumption. Users can also access shared computing resources, reducing the need for their own infrastructures. In fact, shared infrastructures are far more energy-efficient than individual servers.
  • Data center cooling: Data centers generate a lot of heat, which requires energy to cool them. Efficient cooling technologies, such as natural ventilation, can reduce energy consumption.
  • Data centers can also be placed next to a source of cold water for natural cooling of components. You can find out more about other cooling systems in the IDNA article.
  • Renewable energy choices: companies can also use renewable energy sources to power their data centers, such as solar, wind, hydro, etc.
  • Use of energy-efficient equipment: Companies can opt for energy-efficient IT equipment, such as energy-efficient servers and laptops with long battery life.

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