Future of Data Centers Podcast Recap Episode 1: New Construction vs. Modernization
Take a Mission into the Industry’s Sustainability Battle
After much anticipation, the Future of Data Centers: A Mini-Podcast Series From the Viewpoint of Serverfarmers and Data Growers hit the airwaves with the launch of its first quarterly series focused on sustainability. Spanning three impactful episodes available on-demand, the series takes listeners on a critical journey into one of the industry’s most pressing topics.
Blasting off with Episode 1, titled New Construction vs. Modernization, the podcast dives deep into the pros and cons of each approach while discussing how data center leaders must continue on a path toward mitigating climate change. During this inaugural episode, we also hear top sustainability predictions from Serverfarm’s Arun Shenoy, SVP of Sales/Marketing, and Sam Brown, VP of Engineering/Construction.
“The cooling and power distribution technologies that are currently used are going to continue to get better. But I think it’ll start happening in leaps and bounds as opposed to this really slow trudge that has been taking place over the last 30 or 40 years.”
Ready to lend us your ears to learn more? Listen below or keep reading for more highlights.
To Build, or Not to Build, That is the Question
The answer? It’s quite complex — although it’s been said that the cleanest data center is not powered by renewable energy, it is one that does not need to be built. To provide a global perspective into this challenging question, Serverfarm brought together our own industry pioneers with experts and journalists from around the world, includinghost Joel Makower – Co-founder, Chairman, and Executive Editor of GreenBiz – and London-based tech reporter, Ambrose McNevin.
Makower led the conversation through many additional aspects, trends and facts surrounding new construction vs. modernization, including:
- Net-zero, and a global pact across the data center industry to achieve it
- Embodied carbon and its effects during the construction phase of data centers
- Best practices for modernizing data center facilities
- The new meaning of the old mantra: Reuse, Recycle, Reduce
“I deliberately put reduce at the end because generally speaking for the next decade or so, I don’t think we’re expecting to see a reduction in demand — actually quite the opposite. I think what we’re going to have to do as an industry is to figure out how we reuse and recycle as effectively as possible.”
Demand-Driven Construction, Sustainability-Driven Modernization
Even with the great strides made by the construction industry to address its carbon impact, all construction projects involve embodied carbon. As the surge in demand for data centers grows, with no signs of slowing down, it’s more vital than ever to bring attention to how modernizing a facility reduces a data center’s environmental impact.
During the conversation, Shenoy and Brown discuss the findings from an independent study of Serverfarm’s Chicago data center, proving that modernizing a facility can result in a modeled 88% embodied carbon emission reduction. In addition, other eye-opening stats and questions are addressed, such as:
- Buildings and construction directly represent around 39% of all annual global greenhouse gas emissions.
- How cement and steel – two materials data centers require – are the most carbon-intensive construction materials.
- The improvements happening across the industry to improve the tracking and measurement of embodied carbon.
- Serverfarm’s unique modernization model, which bypasses the construction phase.
“Building a new data center should be the last resort.”
Journey into the Life of a Serverfarmer
Have you ever wondered how accomplished data center executives got started in this ever-evolving industry? What path did they take to rise to the top at Serverfarm, one of the world’s leading DMaaS (Data Center Management as a Service) providers? Every episode in the Future of Data Centers sustainability mini-series concludes with giving listeners a flashback into Arun Shenoy’s and Sam Brown’s own data center journey. In this episode, Makower gets up close and personal with Shenoy and Brown to explore how, when and where they launched their successful data center careers.
With so much at stake for one of the most vital industries of our lifetime, this first episode of the Future of Data Centers is not-to-be-missed. So blast off into the future with us as we take the bout between new construction vs. modernization to new heights.