We have been tracking this topic the inception of Vertatique and it is consistently our most-Googled post. We just updated it to better present the material and add newer information.
Dematerialization refers to the reduction in the quantity of materials required to accomplish a function in society. In sustainability terms, dematerialization refers to the replacement of a high-resource/waste activity with a lower-impact one. ICT has become a powerful dematerialization force, evidenced, for example, by how it has replaced physical mail with electronic mail. The US theatrical release of a major motion picture only in digital marks another phase in media dematerialization.
Updates from Asia-Pacific. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe. Click on 'Asia-Pac' tag above for all news about the region. (Information about the ICT implications of Japan's earthquake and tsunami have been moved to its own post.) Our latest item looks at the e-waste management markets in India and in China.
We documented how the e-waste America ships overseas returns to threaten it's citizen's health. Now, we've learned how that e-waste also threatens America's national security.
Cloud computing has the potential to significantly advance Green ICT. Cloud computing can be greener than in-house data centers for many small and medium companies. Yet many of the wasteful practices that result in unnecessary resource consumption and toxic emissions in traditional ICT are now finding there way into cloud utilization.
A 2010 version of this post was titled "No One Can Agree on Typical PUE". I wrote, "As more data centers measure their PUE, managers ask what is typical? The industry does not seem to agree, so a wide range of numbers is out there." I updated the post in 2012 with the latest data, concluding that most data centers still appear to be operating above a PUE of 2.0."
I put the question to Vertatique's global Green ICT community in August 2013 via a tweet: "After years of #GreenICT, is there evidence that most #datacenters now operate below PUE 2.0?". This was one of our most-retweeted, but no one came forward with new evidence. Some replied in the emphatic negative.
Three years of very enlightening survey results from Digital Realty, including the 2014 data, confirm that the 2012 analysis. The only lower (better) average PUE came from Microsoft.
We have been covering the use of datacenter waste heat to warm facilities from municipal buildings to swimming pools since 2009. That led to coverage of a 2011 Microsoft research idea for how individual servers might become 'data furnances'. That original post with excerpts from the researchers' publication is available below.
Two European companies have now brought the idea to market. One explains the concept with a video.
Green ICT is serious business, but it does not have to be solemn. We periodically take a look at the humorous and the quirky and, in this post, Green ICT-themed art and crafts. The most recent pieces are e-waste craft projects.
We've been tracking the growth in mega-datacenters since 2009. These faculties feature technical and operational innovation that has overturned previous notions of limits on energy efficiency. But does the focus on efficiency obscure an acceleration in ICT energy and water consumption and in CO2e production? While mega-data center operators are claiming exceptional power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratios, we're still talking about facilities that consume 20-200 MW apiece and emit a considerable carbon footprint unless powered by renewable energy. Here's our most look recent mega-datacenter issues, including new statistics that suggest the mega-datacenter boom will cause a decrease in the total number of facilities.
Here are our most popular 2014 tweets, according to Twitter Analytics' 'engagements' metric. Click on any one to get the story behind the tweet.