Go Green with Data Center Hardware Asset Management
With the growing importance for businesses to go green, choosing green hardware asset management strategies can benefit the environment and fit your IT budget.
Data centers are crucial for modern businesses and organizations, but Hardware Asset Management strategies for data centers must not only consider the needs of the organization but also their environmental impact.
Cloud Migration is a growing trend that many organizations have chosen to adopt in recent years, which can greatly reduce the need for physical on-premises data centers. Transitioning to cloud-based servers may seem like a sensible, environmentally friendly option, but there remain key considerations pertaining to environmental impact and data security.
Why Green Hardware Asset Management
If your organization has already decided on cloud migration of its data center, whether for cost reasons, for meeting corporate social responsibility goals for environmental stewardship, or both, the answer to ‘why go green’ is self-evident.
But have you ensured that the transition to cloud-based servers keeps your data secure? What will happen to any existing data center IT assets? Hardware asset management must have strategies that provide good answers to all these questions if data security matters (and it should) while going green.
Cloud Migration and Data Center Decommissioning present many opportunities for reducing environmental impacts, increasing the sustainability of existing IT assets, efficiently managing those assets, and retaining data security for all of an organization’s IT assets with inventory tracking and logistics.
Data Center Sustainability
As data centers continue to grow and scale around the world, power consumption has commensurately increased as well. In some cases, massive data centers consume energy comparable to a mid-sized city.
A 2021 report outlines the sustainability of data centers across the world, and within the top rankings only one American city, Seattle, is present. Data centers in Montreal, Oslo, Sydney, and various other international locations have begun to make the shift towards renewable resources to power their data centers.
There are two main benefits to switching to renewable energy sources: firstly, the environmental benefits of less CO2 emissions; secondly, renewables tend to be cost-effective for heavy users. Hydropower is the most frequently used energy source in Vancouver and Seattle, but data centers located far away from hydroelectric sources may wish to consider solar or bioenergy instead.
Efficiently Manage Server Upgrades
Whether your organization requires frequent server upgrades to cycle out end-of-life hardware assets, to maintain peak utilization and efficiency, or to expand server capacity by scaling up, the efficient management of data center upgrades is essential and must be considered in any effort to go green.
While it’s better for the environment to upgrade data center hardware to newer, more energy-efficient technologies that provide superior performance with less power consumption, the growing quantity of electronic waste comes into question. Data Center Decommissioning is a major contributor to the e-waste crisis.
E-waste has grown drastically in the past few years and is only anticipated to grow in the coming decade. In 2019, global e-waste was estimated to be 53.6 million metric tons (over 59 million tons), which was about a 21% increase from 2014. By 2030, that figure is expected to grow to 74.7 million metric tons (over 82.3 million tons).
To make matters worse, the vast majority (over 82%) of e-waste generated in 2019 was not disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. On account of this enormous quantity of e-waste being generated now and in the future, the importance of responsible recycling has never been more important.
Reuse, Redeploy, or Refurbish Redundant Hardware
How can organizations reduce their environmental footprint and cut down on the massive quantities of e-waste generated from their data centers? Recycling and zero-landfill IT Asset Disposition strategies are essential hardware asset management tools that can greatly reduce e-waste.
In addition to responsible disposal of redundant assets, it may be possible to reuse, redeploy, and/or refurbish IT assets as they approach their usable End of Life (EoL). For IT assets that have been made redundant but are still serviceable, it may be possible and desirable to remarket and sell the asset(s) after any and all sensitive data has been thoroughly destroyed with thorough Data Destruction processes.
Remember to always retain proper accounting for all data destruction activities. Audit trails, Data Destruction Certificates, and video evidence of the destruction are all important to have on hand as evidence that your organization is compliant and adhering to proper due diligence with regards to data destruction.
If possible and feasible, redundant IT assets can be redeployed or reused within the organization, thus extending their lifespan while simultaneously reducing the immediate need to purchase new assets as replacements.
Account for All Assets, Not Just Data Center Servers
Keeping track of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of IT assets and devices across an organization is no small feat and requires plenty of time and effort to track, inventory, collect, and redeploy the asset. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that many organizations now have teams of remote workers using IT assets from home, thus removing any centralization that the traditional office offered.
Fortunately, specialized ITAD providers offer many services to assist with the complete organization of secure and accountable asset logistics, data disposal, inventory tracking, and much more.
Green Hardware Asset Management Services from Wisetek
Experts in Data Security and Data Destruction, Wisetek is a leading provider of quality ITAD services in the United States and worldwide. If your organization requires secure, compliant data center decommissioning, IT asset tracking, or data destruction services, you can rely on our services.