Data Centers

Photos: The 20 greenest data centers in the world

​Green data centers: They're the future

Data centers are ludicrously energy hungry. Powering thousands of racks of servers, keeping facilities cool, providing water for employees, lighting the building--it's an energy efficiency nightmare to operate one.

Lots of companies have looked for cost-saving measures wherever possible, which in this case has had the side effect of being great for the environment. Data centers are increasingly powered by renewable resources like solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectricity. Add to that some innovative cooling solutions and you have a new generation of data centers on the rise that are some of the greenest facilities in the world.

Note: Ratings like Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE--the lower the better, with 3.0 being inefficient and 1.0 being incredibly efficient) and the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification are two ways to tell how efficient a data center is. You'll see both of these figures referenced in relation to these 20 green data centers.

SEE: A guide to data center automation (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Image: iStock/MrJub

By Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.