Digitech Insights. 25 Jul 2022
The amount of energy a data centre consumes is certainly not a secret within the tech industry, the millions of data centres across the world actually account for about 1% of global electricity demand. As the focus shifts to creating more sustainable and greener practices, data centre providers are investing time and money into ensuring that their sites are as efficient as possible.
Tech giant Google has announced it wants to run its whole data centre estate on carbon-free energy by 2030. While Amazon Web Services (AWS) is set to power its entire operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.
Both of these moves are encouraging and the shift to carbon-free and renewable energy will certainly make a difference, but the bigger picture of actually reducing the amount of energy needed to power these sites must be addressed if the industry is to make a significant impact on sustainability.
Utilising green coding best practices can make a big difference in the amount of energy needed to power data centres. Green coding practices follow a set of processes and principles that aim to reduce the energy consumption of software. The green coding approach requires software engineers to consider the code they are writing and its efficiency.
Adopting this approach can help coding become greener almost instantly and the ability to write longer and less refined code means software engineers have near limitless programming capabilities.
The acceleration of digital transformation in recent years has driven our dependence on data centres, and this is only set to exponentially grow as every aspect of modern life is driven by data. Combine the growing reliance on data centres with a net-zero future and it is easy to see why action across the tech industry must be considered.
Striking a balance between green coding and high programming quality will be key. Software engineers and developers will need to understand when file sizes can be decreased without compromising quality and could actually reduce energy consumption.
An example of green coding in practice would be a mobile banking app with 500k users reducing the resolution of screen images could save more than two days of operating time usage a year. If the industry widely adopts green coding the energy savings and boost in sustainability could be huge.
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